A leading figure in road construction says Auckland needs to act urgently to introduce motorway tolls to cover the $300 million annual cost of the city's growing transport needs.
Head of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, Stephen Selwood, said the investment plans for Auckland's public transport and roads are not great and the city must move quickly to avoid massive congestion within 30 years.
He believes a motorway charging regime is the best option for raising money to cover the $300-400 million annual cost of developing Auckland's roads and public transport. He said users should pay about $3 a trip.
Mr Selwood told the Road Transport Forum's annual conference on Thursday that he favours motorway tolls rather than the ring road option used in London.
He said a toll would also help clear congested roads by encouraging some commuters onto public transport while others would car pool.
But Mr Sellwood warned that authorities need to move in the next two to three years or Auckland will face much bigger congestion problems by 2040.