Brisbane heavy vehicle toll charge to soar


Transurban and Brisbane Council agree to huge trucking toll hike to fund road upgrades

Brisbane heavy vehicle toll charge to soar
Wes Ballantine spruiks the value of the toll hike

 

Brisbane could see an increase in road toll along certain sections of the city to help fund road upgrade projects starting July 1, 2018, pending state government approval.

Transurban and the Brisbane City Council have agreed to increase heavy vehicle tolls for Clem7 and Go Between Bridge by up to three times that of small vehicles.

While Transurban Queensland GM Wes Ballantine says the value of infrastructure improvements will be "way beyond" the toll increase, Council Opposition leader Peter Cumming says the decision will affect heavy vehicle operators.

The move is similar to that seen in Melbourne, where Transurban increased toll costs by up to 225 per cent for heavy vehicles, leading to the Victorian Road Transport (VTA) suggesting its members to pass on the increased cost to their customers.

However, the change is not expected to as big as in Melbourne, where the announcement was made less than three months before application.

Class 4 vehicles, including trucks, utilities and vans with a gross vehicle mass of 4.5 tonnes or less, currently $13.07 on Clem7, which will increase to around $14.50 from July 2018, with M5 Legacy Way to follow suit starting July 2020.

The upgrades that will be funded by the increased toll earnings include widening the road to four lanes between the Legacy Way exit at Kelvin Grove and the RNA tunnel at Herston.

Defending the price hike, Ballantine says: "Rather than the toll price increase, it's actually the improvement in the ICB which will make a difference here and, in close conversation with the Council, we believe that the price increases here are commensurate.

"Certainly, the value improvement is way beyond the price increase we're announcing here today."

However, Cumming is not convinced.                

He says increased tolls will force heavy vehicles to use "congested suburban streets".

"Many heavy-vehicle drivers are owner-operators, small business people and they will be hit hard by this decision to gouge them to pay for road upgrades the council should be responsible for," Cumming says.

More to come

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