NSW drivers are about to be hit with higher tolls on the key roads for the first time in over a decade
For the first time in 14 years, tolls on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel will increase on October 29.
Bridge and Tunnel tolls will be adjusted 6.8 per cent higher as the NSW government continues its agenda to bring greater equity to motorists across the system following last week’s announcement of a $60 toll cap and the ongoing Independent Toll Review led by Professor Allan Fels.
All extra revenue will go to the government’s toll relief Budget package worth $561 million over two years to 720,000 drivers.
The last time the Bridge and Tunnel tolls were raised was in January 2009 and they have remained fixed at $4.00 during peak times, $3.00 off-peak and $2.50 at night.
From October 29, that will become $4.27 in peak, $3.20 off peak and $2.67 at night.
The state government says the 6.8 per cent rise is a fraction of the CPI increase during the 14 years and seven months since the last adjustment. In the same period, motorists using privately-owned toll roads have faced regular toll hikes under motorway contracts.
“No toll increase is ever welcome, but this increase is helping to provide toll relief to other drivers,” NSW roads minister John Graham says.
“The NSW government believes it is appropriate for these tolls to be adjusted higher at a time when we are focused on providing greater equity across the toll road network, no matter what your postcode.”
In NSW, one company owns all or part of the M2, M4, M5, M5 East, the M7, M8, the Cross City Tunnel, the Lane Cove Tunnel, the North Connex and the Eastern Distributor.
The adjustment will be made by Ministerial Order under the Roads Act 1993.
Bridge and Tunnel tolls are required by law to be reviewed annually and the recommended increase must have regard to the recent rate of inflation.
“Drivers in Western Sydney who have little choice but to use motorways for their commute and family travel have endured annual – and in many cases quarterly – toll increases since 2009 while the Bridge and Tunnel tolls remained fixed,” Graham says.
“Toll revenue is helping us target toll relief to where it is needed most, with suburbs like Kellyville, Silverwater, Blacktown, Quakers Hill, Rosehill and Gosford among those where the most motorists will claim cash back of an average of up to $540 a year. All extra revenue will be used to this end.”