Motorcyclists heading to and from Northland will have to start paying a toll to go through the State Highway One tunnel near Puhoi from Tuesday. (NOW)
Motorbikes have been exempt from paying the toll on the northern motorway extension - officially known as the Northern Gateway Toll Road - since it opened in January 2009.
The motorbike toll will be $2 per trip, the same as for cars and other light vehicles.
NZ Transport Agency regional director for Auckland and Northland Wayne McDonald said tolling motorcycles was a matter of fairness.
When the toll road opened the cost for motorcycles had been set at zero pending a review of an appropriate tariff.
Public consultations on the issue were held in late 2009 before the NZTA Board approved the $2 tariff this year.
"Toll revenue is used to repay the debt raised to build the highway early, and motorcyclists receive similar benefits from using the toll road as other motorists in terms of time savings and safer journeys.
"Introducing a toll that is the same as that for cars will be fairer for everyone," he said.
Mr McDonald said motorcyclists also had the choice of using free alternative routes along the Hibiscus Coast Highway through Orewa or SH16 between Helensville and Wellsford.
The number of motorcycle trips on the Northern Gateway Toll Road from its opening until December 31, 2009, was 51,000.
Use of the tunnel will be free when construction and other costs are paid off.
That’s a $102,000.00 revenue loss folks; let’s take the windy section through Waiwera now, save that centre piece of your tyre...
You can guarantee that the price won’t go up when there is a GST increase and that is the culprit as 1.78 + 12.5 % = 2.00 but 1.78 + 15% = $2.05 and we don’t have 5 cent bits any more... it's motorcycles that will fund this short fall....