Under pressure to respond to criticism that it is among the world’s highest tolling jurisdictions, the NSW Government has been urged not to forego the road transport industry as it considers options for a fairer toll road system.
With the Treasury recently asked to examine options for further subsidies and concessions for motorists by NSW State Premier Dominic Perrottet, commercial vehicle operators are anxiously awaiting whether they will be forgotten when new prices are set by the government.
The offices of Roads Minister Paul Toole and Treasurer Matt Kean have been already contacted by NatRoad CEO Warren Clark who is adamant that the trucking industry can’t afford to be left behind on the issue.
“NatRoad gave evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry earlier this year that the excessively high tolls imposed by private companies were a disincentive to heavy vehicles using motorways,” said Clark.
“We are pleased that the Government is having a re-think but there are two important facts from the road transport industry’s perspective,” he said.
“Firstly, for contractual or practical reasons, most operators have to absorb the cost of tolls and with most existing on a 2.5 per cent profit margin, that’s making their lives harder.
“And what the heavy vehicle industry pays in tolls bears no relation to what’s being spent to maintain or improve toll roads.”
As well as pushing for the creation of an independent tolling authority to set fair prices, NatRoad earlier this year advocated on behalf of industry for some form of rebate or discount for multi-use tollways.
Clark said he was also encouraged by the NSW Government seriously considering NatRoad’s call for the reinstatement of speed camera warning signs, made in a separate appearance before a Parliamentary inquiry.