The ongoing increases in the costs of Transurban Linkt Toll Roads continue to create an enormous financial burden for all transport workers. While just about every operating cost for owner-drivers has steadily increased over the years, none has increased more than toll roads.
It has been over one year since the NorthConnex tunnel opened on the major route in and out of the North of Sydney. The NorthConnex deal between Transurban Linkt and the NSW Government leaves us in debt until 2048. The TWU have done the maths. Under the current system of price hikes, where the NorthConnex toll is currently $25.08 for heavy vehicles, we have worked out that by 2048 the toll will have increased to $73.46 per trip. With a $194 fine in place for heavy vehicle operators who avoid the NorthConnex, it’s clear that coercion is the only way the NSW Government and Transurban can get people to use their overpriced toll roads.
Other toll roads operated by Transurban Linkt have increased their cost of use from Friday 1 October. The bottom line is that the cost of every toll road in Sydney will be at least double (and in some cases closer to triple) for heavy vehicles by 2048, compared to today. While Transurban is collecting millions in profits on the backs of transport workers, it is safe to say heavy vehicle operator incomes are unlikely to increase by 2-3 times in the next 26 years.
The NSW Liberal-National Government has presided over an explosion in the number of privately owned toll roads in Sydney, with Transurban alone either partially or fully owning every toll road in Sydney except the Sydney Harbour Bridge/Tunnel.
The NSW Government has refused to provide toll road relief for heavy vehicle operators and has continually failed to consult with heavy vehicle operators or their representative the TWU.
Toll relief is needed along with caps on costs, which would provide certainty. The TWU is ramping up the fight.