GIGANTIC $7 M8 TOLL SEES 137% INCREASE IN LOCAL TRAFFIC
Government data obtained via a Freedom of Information request shows the $4.3 Billion M8 toll road which was designed to reduce surface traffic off local roads has instead increased local traffic as trucks and cars avoid the exorbitant toll on the road.
Data shows weekly traffic between 1am and 5am has increased from 2043 vehicle movements before the tolls to 4852 after – representing a massive 137% increase.
The traffic volumes are still bad approaching the morning peak with weekly vehicle movements increasing from 5227 at 6am before the tolls were introduced jumping to 9367 afterwards, a 79% increase in traffic movements.
The increase in surface traffic comes after the Government introduced a $7.23 toll on the M5 East Motorway (each way). The road had been free for the last 20 years, so the toll has caused thousands of motorists to jump on local roads to avoid the cost.
The Government had anticipated a 35% increase in surface traffic after applying the toll to the M5 East, seemingly aware that the toll imposition would prompt some drivers to avoid the financial impost. However the actual numbers show a far larger increase than even the Government expected.
Member for Kogarah and Shadow Minister for Transport Chris Minns said,
“These tunnels cost billions and are designed to get cars and trucks off local roads, but the exact opposite thing is happening here.”
“These new toll roads are a multi-billion dollar failure and are killing local suburbs for one simple reason, Sydney tolls are just too expensive.”
To make matters worse the toll roads are subject to an annual 4% increase – more than double the rate of inflation – making a bad situation even worse.
“The NSW Liberals simply don’t care about the ability of Sydney families to pay these exorbitant tolls. They are squeezing families harder and harder,” Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham said.
The Government indicated late last year they intend on privatising the remaining government stake in the WestConnex company. This will mean the toll road company will be 100 per cent privately owned and run with all profits from Sydney motorists sent to the private firms.