The NZTA have announced that the toll on the Northern Gateway toll road are set to increase by 10c at the end of November.
The NZ Transport Agency says tolls on the Northern Gateway Toll Road (NGTR) on State Highway 1 north of Auckland will increase on November 29 2015.
The price of each trip will increase by 10 cents for cars, motorcycles and light vehicles to $2.30 and by 30 cents to $4.70 for heavy vehicles.
The increases are the first in three and a half years and only the second increase since the toll road opened in January 2009.
The Transport Agency’s National Manager Delivery, Robyn Elston, says in order to ensure the Northern Gateway Toll Road remains viable and on course to repay its debt of $158M by 2045, occasional increases to toll prices to adjust with the rate of inflation are necessary. “As soon as the costs are repaid the toll will be removed.”
“5.7 million trips are now made each year on the 7km section of SH1 between Orewa and Puhoi, providing a shorter, quicker option to the free alternative on SH17 through Waiwera.”
Customers with a toll account don’t need to do anything as the new toll price will be automatically debited from their accounts for travel on the road from 29 November.
Administration fees for toll payment notices and service and transaction fees remain unchanged.
The Transport Agency encourages people using the toll road more than once to set up a toll account or pre-purchase tolls online, rather than stopping to pay each time you travel. Set one up today at www.tollroad.govt.nz
A couple of things come to mind about this.
- The toll is used to pay off a loan of $158 million however it needs to be remembered that the loan doesn’t cover the total cost of the road. The entire project cost $356 million with the loan being just to build the road sooner.
- At $2.30 the toll road still represents great value for drivers. At around 7km it saves 5km over the old route through Waiwera. Using the IRDs standard mileage rate of 74 centres per kilometre using the toll road would cost $7.48 vs $8.88 of the old route.
- Unlike many other roads, traffic volumes on the toll road have fairly consistently risen since opening in 2009 which is fairly unsurprising given it is a faster easier route. One of the drivers of traffic increase is also that a higher percentage of traffic is choosing it over the alternative. Back when the road opened it accounted for about 73% of trips, now it accounts for about 80% of all trips. The chart below shows the average traffic volumes for each month, interestingly there hasn’t really been any growth in the number of heavy vehicles, perhaps all the trucks are just waiting for the next motorway to be built before showing up.
- Of the current light vehicle toll, only $1.21 is budged to goes towards paying off the actual loan, 70c to transaction costs and 29c for GST. Positively the cost per transaction has been decreasing and the net cost is actually 55c per transaction. I’d hope it will continue to reduce further now that the Tauranga Eastern Link and Takitimu Dr (formerly Route K) are now using the same system. The chart below shows the cost per transaction for each six monthly period since the road opened.
- There is bit of variability in the cost of toll roads the NZTA operate. With these changes the Northern Gateway toll will be $2.30 for light vehicles and
|Light Vehicles||Heavy Vehicles|
|Tauranga Eastern Link||$2.00||$5.00|