Most Aucklanders are happy to pay road tolls if it helps fund major transport projects and reduces congestion, according to a new survey.
The Horizon Research study, commissioned by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID), collected data on where transportation options could be improved.
Surveying around 1000 Aucklanders, respondents were asked to choose between whether they would rather have fuel taxes, increased rates, car park charges, an airport tax on international travel or an average charge of $2 for all traffic entering the CBD.
Of these options, the $2 average toll was the only choice which attracted more support than opposition - with 46% of those surveyed supporting the toll, 33.4% opposing and 18% neutral.
"The survey clearly shows that people are fed up with congestion and are willing to pay to improve the situation, provided the solutions work," said NZCID chief executive Stephen Selwood.
Of the pricing packages surveyed, the option of a $2 charge in peak periods, between 7am - 9am and $1.50 between 4pm and 6pm, was given the most support overall.
"Pleasingly, attitudes to paying tolls were generally much more positive than one would have thought," Selwood said.
Tolling in principle was supported by 47% of those who use the motorway system twice a day or more.
Among frequent motorway users who were prepared to pay tolls, the average maximum was $4.75 per day for cars and vans and $5.80 for heavy commercial vehicles.
However, the survey also found that congestion on Auckland roads is already having a big toll on people and business.
Around 57.3% of respondents believe traffic congestion is getting worse, while 70.9% believe it will get worse in the future.
In the survey, 70.9% of respondents listed increasing fuel costs as the greatest adverse impact on their transportation.
Selwood said that roadrage or becoming enraged, affects about 20 in every 100 Auckland drivers.
He said the survey found that 30.1% of respondents said that congestion is impacting badly to very badly on the organisations they work for, with another 45.7% reporting slight impact.
"This survey shows that people support the need to invest in Auckland's transport system and that they understand that pricing the motorways at different amounts by time of day will positively influence when and how people travel," he said.
"This provides valuable insight for Government and the Auckland Council as to how future investment in Auckland's transport system can be funded."
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