Tolls on Pattullo Would Be Latest Broken Promise from B.C. Liberals
VANCOUVER – This week, TransLink, which has responsibility for the Pattullo bridge, announced it is considering putting aside its plans to build a new bridge in place of the Pattullo and instead refurbish the existing bridge to reduce the potential for tolls. TransLink has said it would put tolls on any new bridge to replace the Pattullo, which has raised questions about the B.C. Liberals’ promise that commuters would have access to an untolled crossing.
The B.C. Liberals would be breaking yet another promise if they fail to provide commuters in Surrey with a practical non-tolled route over the Fraser River, say New Democrats.
“The B.C. Liberals promised communities south of the Fraser that the Pattullo bridge was a free alternative to the tolled Portman bridge. But now we’re looking at the distinct possibility that there could be tolls on a new Pattullo bridge. It’s more of the same pattern of broken promises from the B.C. Liberals,” said Harry Bains, New Democrat transportation critic.
“Surrey is a growing city with a large workforce commuting over the Fraser River. We need to ensure there are safe, viable, and efficient routes so commuters are not left sitting in traffic. Traffic congestion is bad for families, it hurts business, and it leads to greenhouse gas emissions which harm the environment,” said Bains. greater
Bains noted that last fall the B.C. Liberal government signed a memorandum of understanding to work out a pragmatic solution to the current funding crisis within TransLink.
“Six months have passed since the provincial government promised to take action, and the B.C. Liberals don’t have anything to show for it. The government’s overhaul of TransLink has been a failure, and it is municipalities and commuters who are paying the price,” said Bains.
Last year, the B.C. Liberals made an outrageous suggestion that commuters looking for a free alternative to the new Port Mann bridge would have to use the Alex Fraser.
“Former transportation minister and current leadership hopeful Kevin Falcon promised a free alternative to the Port Mann, but the Alex Fraser is hardly a realistic alternative for many commuters from Surrey,” said Bains.
B.C.’s New Democrats are offering real change for families from all walks of life, including a competitive tax environment, support for small business, fiscal responsibility, a fair minimum wage with predictable increases, and investment in new, emerging industries to diversify our economic base.