The new Ara Tūhono – Puhoi to Warkworth motorway north of Auckland will not be tolled when it opens next year, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.
The new road will extend the four-lane Northern Motorway (SH1) by 18.5km, from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to just north of Warkworth.
Minister Wood said after careful consideration he had declined a tolling proposal submitted by Waka Kotahi.
“As is the case with all new sections of state highway, Waka Kotahi assessed the potential for tolling the Ara Tūhono – Puhoi to Warkworth motorway. This included consultation last year to gather feedback from the public and key stakeholder groups,” he said.
“There was strong community opposition, with 80% of the affected community opposing a toll. I’ve listened and this was a factor that led me to decline the proposal.
“Another was commuters could be forced to pay two tolls given the Northern Gateway is already tolled between Silverdale and Orewa, and especially since there is also no southbound exit from the road before the Northern Gateway.
“Tolling is a useful tool that can help fund the construction and maintenance of new roads or significant upgrades to existing roads, so it warrants investigating – but it’s important there are adequate alternatives for drivers,” the Minister said.
Documentation about the assessment for tolling Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth, including the proposal and the public consultation report are available on the Waka Kotahi website.