“TOLL MANIA” STRIKES AGAIN AS NORTHCONNEX OPENS A YEAR BEHIND SCHEDULE
NSW Labor has condemned the Government’s commitment to ‘toll mania’, following the delayed opening of NorthConnex.
“The toll went up four times before the road even opened. It is due to go up again on the 1st of January. This is peak toll-mania from the Government during a time of deep recession,” Mr Graham said.
“Rather than put the toll up within two months of opening NorthConnex, the Government should be implementing a toll-free period as it opens.”
The delayed opening comes just over a week after the Government failed to support Labor’s ‘Toll-Free Period’ Bill, which aimed to give drivers much-needed relief in a recession. The Bill would have required the Transport Minister to declare a toll-free period when a new motorway, like NorthConnex, opens.
The new nine kilometre tunnel from Wahroonga to West Pennant Hills is the latest edition to Sydney’s toll network, which is becoming the most tolled city in the world.
NorthConnex is also the first toll road in NSW where truck drivers will forced to pay a toll or pay a fine – $194 – with no free alternative route.
The Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham said tolls are a heavy burden for both commuters and the transport industry during a recession.
“Workers, families and businesses are all struggling.” Mr Graham said.
The toll on NorthConnex is $7.99 for cars and $23.97 for trucks. If motorists use NorthConnex twice a day, for 5 days a week, every week, they will pay over $4,000 for cars or $12,000 for trucks every year.
The Government’s arrangement with Transurban will see the toll on NorthConnex go up by 1% every quarter for the life of the 28 year contract.