Congestion charges come closer

Auckland Council staff have signalled that congestion charging discussions will be on the work programme in a matter of months. 

Congestion charging is used to ease congestion, often in central city locations, by charging road users to drive on some routes in peak times. The aim is to encourage them to change the time, route or transport method by which they travel.

At Auckland Council’s April 20 Transport and Infrastructure committee meeting, Extinction Rebellion’s Mari Jay asked why after several “expensive, time-consuming, expert reports” have recommended congestion charging, it was not in the annual budget. 

Cr Chris Darby said government is working through legislation that would enable congestion charging for Auckland. 

Infrastructure and Environmental Services director Barry Potter confirmed that congestion charging discussions would be brought to the committee in the next two or three months. 

Mayor Wayne Brown, who was absent from the committee, has been a vocal opponent to congestion charging calling it “a distraction” [from the provision of reliable public transport] shortly after being elected last year. 

In 2016, government and Council established the Congestion Question project and in 2020 a report under the same name recommended charging $3.50 at peak periods.

That report can be found here,