Waka Kotahi is asking for public feedback from next Monday (17 January) about a proposal to toll Penlink, the new transport connection in north Auckland being built to support people living and working in Silverdale, Whangaparāoa and the Hibiscus Coast.
Tolling Penlink would help provide more reliable journeys and pay for the ongoing maintenance and operation of the road.
When it opens in 2026 Penlink will provide people in Auckland’s north with a vital new connection that allows for more transport choices to help people get where they’re going safely.
Part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, the Government’s $8.7 billion investment in growing areas across the country, North Auckland communities can look forward a two-lane road with a shared path for people on foot and on bikes.
Public consultation will run between Monday 17 January and Sunday 13 February 2022, with people able to submit their feedback on our online survey site.
Every time a new state highway is built in New Zealand Waka Kotahi carries out an assessment to see if it meets the criteria to be tolled.
“Findings from our assessments on Penlink show that tolling would help to provide more reliable journeys by reducing travel times. It would also contribute to the cost of maintaining the road so it remains safe and resilient,” says Mark Kinvig, Waka Kotahi National Manager Infrastructure Delivery.
“Government funding for the Penlink project has been provided for the planning and construction of the project only, so the ongoing costs of maintaining and operating the road need to be found from other funding sources.
“Tolling revenue from Penlink and future new state highways could be used to pay for their maintenance and operations rather than trying to find funding from the National Land Transport Fund, which is under increasing pressure to fund transport improvements across the country,” Mr Kinvig says.
The tolling proposal includes different toll prices for peak and off-peak hours, also known as variable tolling. Charges vary between $1.00 to $4.00 with heavy freight paying more than light vehicles.
Variable tolling helps people make choices about when they travel, and therefore the toll price they pay. It will also reduce travel times on Penlink during peak hours.
To ensure fair and equitable toll prices, three toll points are proposed along the 7km route so that road users pay the right amount for the parts of Penlink they use.
For example, you would pay a lower toll when travelling between East Coast Road and Whangaparāoa Road on Penlink when compared to using the full 7km road.
People will still be able to access free alternative routes if they do not wish to pay the toll.
Waka Kotahi always aims to provide various opportunities for face-to-face engagement. However, with Covid-19 we are all adjusting to new ways of working.
With the current level of Covid-19 restrictions, we continue to take a careful approach to our public engagement and alongside our online opportunities for feedback we will hold a limited number of drop-in sessions at the Whangaparaoa Library.
If the Government approves tolling Penlink, the tolling scheme would be in place when the road is open in 2026.
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