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AA Responds To Northern Gateway Toll Road Report

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
AA Responds To Northern Gateway Toll Road Report

The AA has welcomed the release of the Northern Gateway Toll Road report which details the first five months of operations of the new state highway.

AA spokesman Simon Lambourne says "it's fantastic to see so many motorists taking advantage of the toll road, and of course less congestion and improved safety on the alternative free SH17 Hibiscus Coast road. The technology which reads the license plates is impressive and we are very pleased to see that the road's debt repayment is ahead of schedule."

"That said, there are three issues in the report that concern the AA - the 33,000 motorcycles and rental cars using the road and not paying to do so; the 27,749 motorists who collectively have $207,000 in unpaid tolls; and the ongoing inadequacies of the cash payment facilities."

"There is no reason why a motorist should be charged $2 to use the road, while motorcycles get to use it for free. Motorcycles equally benefit from the road's shorter travel time, the safer infrastructure and the fuel cost savings, so it's only fair for them to also pay the toll to use the road. Similarly, rental car companies seem to be exploiting a legal loophole to ensure they are not responsible for the toll, if payment has not been made by the car hirer."

"It's unacceptable that some motorists are refusing to pay the toll. In the interests of fairness to the 94 percent of users who do pay, the New Zealand Transport Agency needs to commence its enforcement process immediately."

"For some time now the AA has been calling for significant improvements to the cash payment kiosks. 31 percent of toll road users have had to use the four kiosks provided. We urgently need more and improved kiosks, and kiosks in better locations."

Mr Lambourne says "the AA has congratulated the NZTA on its many successes with the Northern Gateway Toll Road to date, however we have also advised them of the urgent need to address the problematic areas, lest they result in motorists losing confidence in the toll road."

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