A study into Sydney’s toll system found high tolls were forcing trucks to cross suburban roads as trucking companies tried to avoid paying them.
- Sydney is Australia, possibly the world’s most expensive toll city, study finds
- Representatives of Peak Motoring and the trucking company provided various solutions to this inquiry.
- Hearings continue tomorrow in Western Sydney
The independent panel, commissioned by the New South Wales Labor Government to consider ways to make toll roads simpler and fairer in Australia’s city with the most toll roads, held two days of hearings in Parramatta on Wednesday. held the eye.
Australian Logistics Council Chief Executive Hermione Parsons told the study that toll roads “won’t work for the freight industry” because of cost, efficiency and productivity issues.
“Cost has increased [of tolls] Reduced productivity is forcing cargo to return to the secondary road network,” she said.
“The carrier shall [toll] The viability of the industry is threatened because it costs customers. ”
Trucks take up more space on the road than cars, weigh more and are more likely to break down, which makes toll roads more expensive.
Dr. Parsons described one example of how the introduction of a new toll road in Sydney increased a carrier’s toll bill from $5.5 million to $7 million in one year.
“It’s too expensive,” she said.
“Traveling $35 when you could probably save two minutes just means it’s not worth it.”
Dr. Parsons said “unnecessary” curfews implemented by some local councils that affect when trucks can travel on certain roads also often force them to travel on suburban roads during peak hours. said to be contributing to the problem.
“The curfew is very disturbing,” she says.
“Truck not available” [toll] It’s not commercially viable, so they use back roads. ”
He advocated several measures to reform the system, including removing curfews, introducing freight lanes on toll roads, and offering “time of day” discounts for drivers to use the roads during off-peak hours. method was recommended.
“Australia’s Busiest City”
The review is led by Alan Fels AO, former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and David Cousins AM, former Chairman of the Price Watch Authority.
Professor Fels said tolls have become “more prevalent” in recent years.
“Sydney is the most expensive capital city in Australia and probably the world,” he said.
“Toll roads are getting more and more expensive at a time when inflation is high and the cost of living is rising.”
The survey also consulted representatives of the automotive trade association NRMA, who said motorists in Western Sydney felt they were “most disadvantaged” by toll roads.
“With the current pricing system, [NRMA] Western Sydney members in particular are more willing to avoid toll roads than other regions,” said NRMA Senior Manager Sam Giddings.
“Increased transparency on pricing terms and independent oversight of concessions would improve public knowledge and confidence.”
The review explores a range of options, including moving all highways to a common toll structure, a system of geographic highway zones, and time-of-day pricing.
The New South Wales Government plans to introduce a $60 weekly cap on private vehicle tolls from January 2024.
The plan will run for two years and will cost $147 million.
Transurban owns or owns CrossCity Tunnels, Eastern Distributor, Lane Cove Tunnels, M2, M5 East, M5 Southwest, WestConnex, NorthConnex and M7.
These highways will remain in concession until at least 2035. For WestConnex, the concession runs him through 2060.
The survey sought input from highway operators, local councils and the general public.
About 300 submissions have been received online, and the final day of hearings is scheduled to be held in Penrith on Thursday.
The review is expected to be completed in 2024, when Prof. Fels and Dr. Cousins will submit their final report to the New South Wales government.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-12/nsw-tolls-inquiry-trucks-forced-onto-suburban-streets/102592974 Rising road tolls are forcing heavy trucks to cross suburban roads, an independent study finds