Monday, 24 July 2017 12:05

WSROC continues fight for fairer tolls

Cars travelling along motorway at night. Cars travelling along motorway at night.

Following its campaign for toll reform in Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has continued its fight for a fairer transport system as part of the Australian Government’s Parliamentary Inquiry into road use charging.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Around 70 per cent of Greater Western Sydney workers commute by private vehicle, making the Parliamentary Inquiry a critical issue for our region.

“Western Sydney residents are Sydney’s greatest users of toll roads. We travel further, for longer, and more often than other residents of Sydney, and have less access to public transport alternatives,” he said.

“WSROC has previously highlighted the inequities associated with current road tolls in Sydney – both between east and west and within the Western Sydney region itself.

“Currently, users of the M2 pay three to four times more on a return journey to the CBD as users of the M5 motorway; demonstrating exactly why the Australian Parliament’s inquiry into toll roads is both welcome and sorely needed,” said Cr Bali.

While WSROC’s full submission is currently under consideration by the Parliamentary Inquiry committee, it addressed a range of issues including:

  • The underlying structural inequities of toll roads;
  • The need for standardisation of tolling across the motorway network;
  • Journey and network caps;
  • Distance and time-of-day tolling; and
  • Reduced road tolls for commuters with poor public transport alternatives.

“The fact of the matter is, without an all-of-system approach to transport pricing, Western Sydney residents will continue to pay charges that have little to do with the service quality they are experiencing on our city’s transport network,” said Cr Bali.

“Transport pricing must extend beyond roads, to include rail and other forms of public transport – reflecting the way people actually use the transport system,” he said.

“Public transport is heavily subsidised, meaning that in many cases it is cheaper than tolling charges on motorways.  While this is positive in encouraging people to choose public transport over private vehicles, for many Western Sydney residents, public transport is not a practical option.

“Western Sydney drivers should not be punished for using our city’s roads simply because they have no other choice. This is an inherently inequitable situation created by the investment decisions of successive governments," said Cr Bali.

The submission is currently under review and will be made available on the WSROC website once it has been released by the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee.

 

Related stories: 

WSROC seeks review of Sydney toll inequity (December 2015)

WSROC welcomes  toll inquiry, but seeks broader approach (March 2017)

WSROC calls tokenism on toll-free period (May 2017)

Tell us what you think: M4 Toll (July, 2017)

 

Last modified on Thursday, 27 July 2017 10:50