Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tunnels and who should pay for them

Tunnel failures drive Gongestion tax Calls

by ANDREW MACDONALD in theCourier Mail 23/2/1913

AN inner-Brisbane congestion charge should be considered as a traffic-busting way to fund fufure large-scale infrastrucfure projects, say experts. The call for the reignition of debate over the politically volatile road-use tariff comes as Airport Link this week became Brisbane's second multi-billion-dollar tunnel project to financially collapse.

University of Queensland economist Professor John Quiggin said current tolling was falling short of revenue and congestion-reduction objectives and debate over introducing targeted charges for drivers on our most clogged roads during peak periods should be restarted.

He said the rethink could also involve reducing or scrapping tolls on the new roads to encourage use and further reduce congestion.

"The basic idea is that if you look at the way we charge for roads at the moment we (toll) the nicest newest roads, which are the ones that we would like people to use," he said. "So we're taking people off the roads that we want them on and putting them on to the roads that we don't want them on. A congestion charge has the merit of (being) relatively straightforward to collect and it picks out the busiest area."

Prof Quiggin said despite logical arguments for a congestion tariff, few politicians or interest groups were willing to champion or initiate debate.

Targeted charges for driving in specific zones near the centres of major cities like London, Stockholm and Singapore have become accepted means of reducing congestion, while also providing revenue for other projects.

In Australia individuals like former Treasury boss Ken Henry have also floated congestion charges to generate revenue for projects.

However, Premier Campbell Newman has strongly opposed such fees and his office yesterday referred a query on the issue to Transport Minister Scott Emerson.

Mr Emerson's office said a congestion charge was not a current consideration.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk "strongly opposed" such a charge, his office said.
A few points to consider.
1.    don't we already pay a huge sum of money every year to register our vehicles
                What's that for, so they can have biscuits and tea every day or is it to build and maintain roads
2.    have a congestion tax so they can do away with the tolls on the tunnels
                have you ever seen a pig knock back food
3.    who dreams up these numbers for usage when these tunnels are built
                what, do they use a dart board, no, it is just the greedy high flyers thinking about how much money they would like to make
4.    "
A congestion charge has the merit of (being) relatively straightforward to collect"
                oh yeah, and how long did it take them to figure out how to do the current tolling
I'm sure you will think of other points about this debacle.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A recent test was conducted using two cars at the same time starting at 6pm from Kedron to Princess Alexandra Hospital. It cost one car through the tunnels a total of $7.60 and he arrived seven (7) minutes before the car traveling on the surface roads and all the traffic lights.

Is it really worth spending that amount of money to save seven (7) minutes ????