New driving charges will take their toll on NSW motorists

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New driving charges will take their toll on NSW motorists


MOTORISTS could pay upwards of $7 to travel the full length of the M4 and M5 when the two motorways are extended or duplicated.

A distance-based toll system, used on the M7 motorway, is expected to be used on both roads in the coming years to pay for the construction of the M4 East and M5 duplication, The Daily Telegraph has been told.

The toll rate is widely tipped to be about 35c-40c/km, with a cap imposed so as not to lump motorists with such a high toll that it would discourage them from using the roads.

Infrastructure experts yesterday claimed reintroducing a distance-based toll on the M4 would fall short of the $10 billion-$12 billion needed to build the M4 East extension – a road that will connect the M4 to the Anzac Bridge and to the Port Botany region.

Toll roads to fill motorway black hole

Funding for the balance of the cost of the project would have to come from taxpayers, they agreed.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said yesterday if there was a new tolling arrangement it would be taken to the next election as a proposal.

But a senior government source said: “If the transport master plan comes out and says there are these roads to build and this is how you fund them, it would be pretty silly of us to (ignore it).” The master plan is due out as a draft in July and will finally be delivered in November.

An Infrastructure NSW plan recommending the M5 duplication ahead of the M4 East is expected to be delivered in August.

Transfield boss Tony Shepherd said tolling could help pay for a substantial part of the roads. He cited the 39km Connect East in Melbourne which is 50c “a section” but in total is capped at $5.50.

Under Labor plans prepared for Infrastructure Australia three years ago, a toll was set at 33c/km.

Senior government sources pointed out that plans had always been set around the M7 distance-based toll.

“What we have done in Melbourne – I set up Connect East – that’s a distance-based tolling system and the toll is 50c a section … 39km … I think the cap is about $5.50 for 39km,” Mr Shepherd said.


The Opposition pointed out that if you went for an M7 rate without a cap, you would pay $15.36 on the M4 and $12.29 on the M5 each way.


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