TWU boss calls new projections of Sydney toll roads ‘madness’

There are new calls to end the “total madness” of the increase in road tolls which, according to a union boss, “paralyzes” transport operators.

New projections suggest Sydney’s road tolls will more than double over the next 25 years, as a union boss says current tolls are already “crippling” for road users.

According to the Transport Workers Union NSW, the doubling and tripling of road tolls over the next two and a half decades will be felt more severely by truck drivers and other heavy vehicle users who are already paying triple the tolls of other users. vehicles on most roads.

According to TWU NSW’s projections for trucks, the NorthConnex toll, which increased this week to $ 25.33, will be $ 35 one-way by 2030 and nearly $ 74 one-way in 25 years. .

For car users, who now pay $ 8.36 per trip, that would increase to $ 24 by 2048 and $ 49 by 2048.

This is based on a quarterly increase of 1 percent through 2048 which exceeds the expected rate of inflation.

TWU NSW boss Richard Olsen said it was “nothing short of utter madness.”

The secretary of state has called on new metropolitan roads minister Natalie Ward to take action in 2022.

“Under this government, increasing our toll roads is as much a part of Sydney’s New Year’s ritual as the fireworks over the Harbor Bridge,” said Mr Olsen.

“There is nothing more urgent for the new Minister of Roads than to relieve the driver-owners and transport operators who are paralyzed by these massive toll costs.

“The numbers don’t lie – if the government does nothing urgently, the cost of using these toll roads will triple over the next 25 years.

“How are truckers and other small businesses using these routes supposed to afford that kind of increase?” “

Ms Ward said the NSW government is committed to financially supporting drivers who choose to use toll roads more often.

“The NSW government is focused on reducing cost of living pressures on NSW households with over 70 discounts and savings available, including the Toll Relief Program and the small business fee and charge rebate program, ”said Ms. Ward.

“Last year, nearly $ 70 million was paid to more than 200,000 eligible drivers under the Toll Relief Program, which allows regular toll users to claim a free rego or a half rego. price.

“This is in addition to other initiatives, including the M5 Sud-Ouest cash back program and the small business fee and charge rebate. This amount was recently increased from $ 1,500 to $ 2,000 to provide even more relief to regular toll users.

“There are a series of factors that have not been taken into account by the TWU in comparing today’s prices to speculation over a 30-year period. “

NSW Labor has previously pledged to make toll roads a hot election issue, with NSW Labor leader Chris Minns calling this year for an end to new tolls on existing roads and to deals that would maintain the increase in tolls. tolls in line with inflation.

Tolls on nine roads increased on January 1.

Tolls on the Cross City, Eastern Distributor, Hills, M2, Lane Cove Tunnel, WestConnex M8, M5 East and M5 South West tunnel are adjusted quarterly, while the WestConnex M4 is increased each year.

Originally published as Transport Workers Union boss Richard Olsen calls projections of Sydney toll roads “madness”

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