Holding off on Route K decisions

Tauranga City Council is putting off further discussion on raising the Route K tolls until after the new State Highway 36 extension is in operation.

Mayor Stuart Crosby says this won’t be until September at which time an assessment of tolls will need to occur.


Route K toll plaza.

“We have had a record number of vehicles last month, so hopefully there is a natural build-up,” says Stuart.

On Tuesday the council approved its statutorily required estimated revenue from tolls for the year. Tolls for the 2011/12 financial year are expected to be $1,962,117.

It estimates tolls will cease to be collected in the 2045/46 financial year, based on the assumption of tolls increasing in the short to medium term.

Tauranga City Council has been considering raising tolls on the highway to make it viable.

The council wants the NZ Transport Agency to take over the route as part of the highways network, but has been told it will have to be a viable proposition for that to happen.

“Where we are at the moment is our acting chief executive officer is meeting with representatives of NZTA today, and hopefully that will result in myself and the acting CEO addressing the board of NZTA in the not too distant future.

“So there is quiet progress on that, and we are all working hard to make that transfer happen.

“They have been very receptive – they are just building up their own information base and that’s what the series of meetings, including today’s, have been about.”

Route K background:

The toll road through the Kopurererua Valley is not paying its way and council is faced with either selling off the highway or raising the tolls to prevent ratepayers having to bail it out.

If the tolls are not increased in the next couple of years, council staff estimate $32.5 million of Route K debt will need to be transferred, meaning a permanent annual rate increase of $38 per rateable property.

Route K is an ‘orphan’ system. Talks have been going on about making Route K part of the Land Transport Management Act scheme so the two road tolling systems can be integrated when the eastern arterial link begins operations.

That integration with the state highway system was originally set to happen when the Harbour Link Project was being considered as a tolling project.

When the government decided to pay for the harbour link, Route K was left to struggle on.

Route K cost $63.6 million and has a debt of $51.9 million.

The debt will be increased by $12.8 million when the council’s share of the Pyes Pa bypass is transferred this year.




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10 Comments

HEADING IS WORNG ...

Posted on 26-03-2011 01:23 | By THE PELICAN BRIEF

"Hanging on ... desperately" more like it to the faint glimper of hope that something will materialse from over the horizon on a white and shiny horse! NAH NOT GOING TO HAPPEN .... PS The white shiny horse thing has nothing to do with the ’Turkey’s champion" who of course is also a myth.

THE PLAN AS PER TCC ?

Posted on 16-03-2011 01:58 | By The Master

Once uipon a time there was a plan to build a little road and have nice cars drive up and down it all day long, the plan showed that teh debt would peak in 2012 at $54m, that has already been surpassed, the volume of cars is just not there to make it pay its way, then to add salt to the wounds another $12.8m in debt is to be added. HELLO .... that will make the debt more! Interest will be higher and the debt will rise faster still.

Dog or a Lemon

Posted on 15-03-2011 07:58 | By EYESPY

Play around with it as much as you like it has still become an albatross around TCC ratepayers necks .Costs $3mill a year in interest alone with current capital debt around $55mill and rocketing. Capitalising debt does not solve the problem.For something that was not to cost ratepayers anything its become a nightmare because the liability is all on ratepayers.Why not trial it toll free for 3 months and see how many would use it.

DEBT OVER BURDEN

Posted on 12-03-2011 13:08 | By THE PELICAN BRIEF

Looks to be that the Toll road has to much debt already, why add more to it that certainly does not add any more value to the ability to collect tolls, make money and so have a possibility to even look like breaking even. Does allthis mean that the tolls will not be increased x 2 but instead x 3 or even more?

rates increase,

Posted on 10-03-2011 13:07 | By Mr bay

How do the councilors/mayor expect the humble rate payer to survive with the constant rate increases, with food prices going up and petrol going up no one will be able to pay rates....then think how much dept there will be. How about all councilors take a pay cut and put that money towards the road. See if they can live on 30-40k a year with 3 kids, I bet they can’t.

Posted on 10-03-2011 09:44 | By Countrygirl

How about we get transit to change the status of the Cambridge Rd route so that trucks are not able to travel on Cambridge road and are instead forced to use route K. This would kill 2 birds with one stone, making Cambridge Road a safer place to live for it’s many residents and schools and also put the large vehicles on the route they should be using!!!

Route K(ey)

Posted on 10-03-2011 01:03 | By lorrneil.kinect.co.nz

Simple remedy is to toss it in with the rest of our assets and sell to either Australia or China!

BREAKING THE LAW

Posted on 09-03-2011 23:55 | By TERMITE

COUNCIL IS BREAKING THE LAW BY ADDING THE PYES PA SHARE OF COST TO THE DEBT OF THE TOLL ROAD AS TEH STATUTE DOES NOT PERMIT THIS TO HAPPEN.

Another Projection Gone Wrong

Posted on 09-03-2011 19:21 | By cinik

You would hae to question their ability to forecast. They build these projects telling ratepayers there will be no cost because it will pay for itself and are consistantly wrong. According to the prediction on the hot pools there is going to be 205 extra people a day everyday going to the hot pools because of the wellness centre. I hope they put on more buses because where are these extra customers going to park? Good on you Mr Guy for for comments.

Unsubstantiated Pro Tolling spin

Posted on 09-03-2011 16:40 | By Murray.Guy

"If the tolls are not increased in the next couple of years, council staff estimate $32.5 million of Route K debt will need to be transferred, meaning a permanent annual rate increase of $38 per rateable property". Those most influential in regard Route K (select senior staff, Mayor, Deputy Mayor ...) refuse to look at all options with an open mind, hell bent on meeting a perceived NZTA tolling requirement. This comments above are irresponsible and inaccurate in my opinion.

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