16 Jul 2012

Auckland fuel tax back on agenda

10:24 pm on 16 July 2012

A regional fuel tax for Auckland is back on the agenda to pay for transport infrastructure.

Auckland Council is to explore five funding options to close a gap of more than $10 billion for major projects in coming years.

The council says rates and taxes alone won't pay for big ticket items such as an additional harbour crossing, and a downtown rail tunnel.

Public consultation on other funding shows tolls on new roads are the favourite.

A regional fuel tax and higher road user charges for Auckland are the second favoured, followed by charges to use key roads at peak times and higher car parking fees.

A previous plan for a regional fuel tax for Auckland was scrapped by the Government.

The Automobile Association says mayor Len Brown, who wants the options firmed up within 12 months, is moving too fast.

It also says the shortlist is based on submissions from only 160 people.

Mr Brown says the Government may need to change laws depending on the chosen options, and any new charging could be several years away.

He says network or congestion charging will become a possibility as improved public transport becomes a more attractive option.

The mayor says the council and a committee of interest group leaders will help assess the short-listed ideas over the coming year.