Will the Takitimu North Link be tolled?
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 and New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) roads like Takitimu North Link are no different.
Government funding has been provided for the planning and construction of Takitimu North Link Stage One and route protection for Stage Two. The ongoing costs of maintaining and operating the road for Stage One and the construction cost for Stage Two need to be found from other funding sources.
A tolling assessment for the Takitimu North Link project has started and is expected to be completed in 2023. Depending on the outcome, the Waka Kotahi Board may recommend tolling to the Minister of Transport and seek permission to consult with the public on the proposal. If tolling is considered a feasible option public consultation will take place in 2024.
Tolling assessments are designed to apply many perspectives to the complex issue of determining tolling feasibility, including how a potential toll road might interact with the wider transport network.
For Takitimu North Link, this will include how a tolled expressway may interact with the Takitimu Drive Toll Road, consider tolling across both stages of the project, where toll gantries might be located and cost effectiveness and benefits to road users. It will also consider the impact on the existing route through Te Puna and Bethlehem.
An important factor of applying a toll is that there must be a suitable free alternative (which is the existing SH2).