Road Toll News, Transport News

Sydney toll network review begins to make road fees fairer

The chairs of the Sydney toll review have spoken about what they plan to look at as the process begins

The all-important independent review into Sydney’s toll road network is underway as the chair has revealed what the first hearing will consist of.

Allan Fels and David Cousins will lead the body that will look at how to make road fee charging on toll roads fairer to relieve traffic burdens for heavy vehicle operators.

Speaking before the review’s first hearing yesterday, Fels says there’ll be no revolutionary changes made due to long-term toll contracts, but a range of small options are possible.

“I’m not suggesting that there’s going to be a revolution in toll prices and that we’re going to travel free on roads,” Fels says.

“There is scope to negotiate some wine-win outcomes.”

Fels confirmed the review won’t recommend ways to override long-term contracts to toll companies like Transurban.

Instead, the review will include simplifying toll charges, looking at government relief measures and introducing distance-based and time-of-day charges.

At the opening hearing, the review chairs discussed the network issue with a range of associations representing truck drivers and local councils that painted a picture of severe community impact caused by the toll road pricing.

This included National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) chief executive Warren Clark, who spoke about the impact the high cost of tolls has on drivers choosing not to use the toll roads.

Fels also says means testing of drivers could be on the cards for government toll subsidies, with NSW Premier Chris Minns saying he is sticking by the $60 weekly toll cap to reduce toll costs for trucks.

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