The TWU is calling on freshly-appointed Roads Minister Natalie Ward to address out of control toll road costs as her first order of business, as Sydney’s drivers and transport workers bring in the New Year in an all-too-familiar fashion – with increases on 10 toll roads.
The call comes as TWU projections show that Sydney’s toll roads are set to more-than double (and in some cases triple) over the next 25 years. The increases are particularly significant for truck drivers and other heavy vehicles, who pay triple the tolls of other drivers on most roads.
TWU NSW State Secretary said a new year and a new Roads Minister presents the perfect opportunity to provide meaningful toll relief to owner-drivers and all road users.
“Under this Government, increases on our toll roads have become just as much a part of Sydney’s New Years ritual as the fireworks on the Harbour Bridge” Mr Olsen said.
“There’s nothing more urgent for the new Roads Minister than providing relief to owner-drivers and transport operators who are being crippled by these massive toll road costs.”
“The numbers don’t lie – if the Government doesn’t do something urgently, the cost of using these toll roads will triple within the next 25 years. How are truck-drivers and other small businesses using these roads supposed to afford those kinds of increases?”
“Today the cost for a truck to use the NorthConnex tunnel has gone up to $25.33, and is on track to be $35 one-way by 2030 and almost $74 one-way in 25 years’ time. That is nothing short of complete madness.”
Tolls on the NorthConnex, M2, M4, M5 East, M5 South West, M7, M8, Lane Cove Tunnel, Eastern Distributor and Cross City Tunnel will all increase today.
All of these roads are owned either partially or entirely by Transurban, which recently admitted at a parliamentary inquiry to collecting more than $2 billion in toll revenue from Sydney drivers.