Sydney’s increasing network of toll roads is hitting the hip pocket of motorists too hard, the Liberal Democrats say.
Toll charges are rising every year, to the point where commercial drivers are close to breaking point and cannot afford to use time-saving routes.
Liberal Democrats NSW Upper House candidate, John Ruddick, points to the NSW Government’s toll tender process, which is not competitive but favours one private operator to collect tolls.
“Motorists are being gouged on massive costs for all Sydney toll roads because charges are rising above the CPI,” John says.
The Liberal Democrats see the best way to drive down the cost of the infrastructure would be a more transparent and global competitive tender.
Tolling contracts should be made public, and fixed tolls or time-based charging should replace distance-based charging.
“Liberal and Labor governments manipulate the tender process to favour one operator and agree on escalation rates, or the yearly increase in tolls, that penalise motorists,” John says.
“When the Sydney Harbour Tunnel changed from private ownership back to the state government in August 2022 the tolls remained, and this is an unfair grab for revenue.
“Motorists using the Sydney Harbour public toll roads bridge and tunnel will pay more simply because the government thinks there will be more traffic on the roads.
“Another road, the M5 East was free to use until the government allowed Transurban to operate a toll with the sale of WestConnex, and now motorists are being crippled with high road charges.
“To be fair on everyone, tolls should be shut down on roads when construction costs have been fully paid and roads handed over to the government.”
The Liberal Democrats would reduce tolls for motorcycles and scooters to no more than one quarter of the toll for cars, and we would cut tolls for buses and coaches carrying passengers.
“Motorcyclists are now charged the same as cars, but are a lower weight, so they are unfairly discriminated against,” John argues.
The LibDems want to see tolls decreased each year as road costs are paid off, and to cut tolls for some vehicles so that charges are more affordable.
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