Calls for congestion tax to be spent on public transport

By: Jason Whittaker


Governments are being asked introduce a congestion tax and use it to fund public transport initiatives in an effort to

Governments are being asked introduce a congestion tax and use it to fund public transport initiatives in an effort to take cars from the roads and drive commuters onto buses.

With urban traffic congestion expected to double by 2020, the Director of consultancy firm Port Jackson Partners, Rod Sims, says governments need to implement the tax as one of three initiatives to free-up the road network.

Addressing attendees at last week’s New Agenda for Prosperity hosted by the Melbourne Institute and The Australian, Sims highlighted the growing demand placed on the urban road network by traffic congestion and what can be done to address the issue.

By investing the congestion tax in such areas such as an improved integrated road network, Sims says governments will create a more efficient public transport system, which in effect will allow bus operators to cope with the increased demand from commuters changing from car to bus.
"We need all governments to agree to pursue policies that will stop the increasing traffic congestion in our cities," he says.

"Some recent road construction in Sydney, for example, has simply created new choke points."

As well as this, Sims says governments must also invest more to boost the frequency and reliability of their public transport systems.

While noting his call for a congestion tax may not receive widespread support among the community, Sims says it is a necessary step if governments want to effectively manage their road networks in the coming decade.
"A small number of cars off the roads at specific times will make a significant difference," he says.

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