Monday, August 24, 2009

Money to be wasted on a road?

with the ridiculously expensive Weiti Crossing bridge for the Whangaparaoa peninsula according to the NZ Herald.

The road would cost $217 million, of which $125.6 million is sought from your fuel taxes and road user charges, when it isn't even a very good project. Yes the remainder comes from tolls and levies on properties that will see improved values, but frankly unless the project ranks well sa being a good investment for other road users, why should it be progressed?

An appropriate assessment would be to estimate the fuel tax and road user charges that would be paid by those using the road. This is called "shadow tolling", where the money collected through motoring taxes is calculated and dedicated to the project. If that revenue can't be committed to the road, and the private sector borrow to build it based on that, the tolls and the property levy, then the road is a waste of money, and is being subsidised by others.

Lockwood Smith, the local MP, says "it has to go ahead".

Rodney Mayor and former ACT MP Penny Webster said Steven Joyce "promised" it would go ahead.

So, if tolls wont be enough, along with a property levy, and "shadow tolls" wont be enough, then it proves those who want it aren't prepared to pay for it - so it shouldn't be built.

Sadly it appear more than one National and ACT politicians are unwilling to apply user pays, when it is something they like.

1 comment:

jarbury said...

I agree Liberty. The government is incredibly reluctant when it comes to handing out any money for public transport improvements, yet seems to fall over itself to provide funding for roading projects - no matter how daft they might be.

Has anyone even conducted a cost-benefit analysis on Steven Joyce's dream Puhoi-Wellsford motorway yet? I wonder if we'll see a new low - surpassing the 0.3-0.5 BCR given to the Transmission Gully Motorway.