Tolls becoming a toil 64



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How much are you willing to pay in road tolls before they become too expensive to bother? Do you take a longer and less appealing route to bypass toll roads, and do you think you will be able to do this in the future as more and more private public partnerships are struck to build roads that are funded by tolls?

Last month, Transurban Chief executive Scott Charlton, the leader of the company which operates the Sydney M2, Eastern Distributer and Lane Cove Tunnel, said they plan to trial ways to increase user-pays pricing models in Melbourne over coming months. His comments have been sparked by a real fear that Australia cannot fund future road projects with its declining petrol excise revenues being affected by more fuel efficient cars.

But there simply has to be a price point at which consumers won’t participate in toll roads the way the big companies need them to for their business models to work.

Brisbane’s commuters were found last year to be paying one of the highest rates in the world in tolls on the 117m Go-Between bridge which links West End and the western suburbs. At an exorbitant price of $2.88 for a quick crossing, it is the equivalent of nearly $25 per kilometre for the trip.

Meanwhile, a trip on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during peak hour will cost you $4.00 each way and the Cross City Tunnel in Sydney $5.19.

It adds up if it is part of your daily commute and leads people looking for a saving to seek out ways around it.

There is no doubt about it, some of Australia’s toll road prices are high when compared with international toll roads that are charged at much lower rates like $1.32 per kilometre as you can see below. But what do you think is too high for you?

How often do you take toll roads and how much can you justify paying for the convenience of avoiding traffic and getting to your destination faster?

Go Between Bridge (Brisbane)

Distance: 117m Toll: $2.88 Cost per km: $24.59

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (New York, US)

Distance: 4.17km Toll: $5.83-$15.90 Cost per km: $1.39-$3.81

George Washington Bridge (New York, US)

Distance: 1.4km Toll: $9.54-$13.78 Cost per km: $6.81-$9.84

Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, US)

Distance: 2.73km Toll: $4.24-$7.42 Cost per km: $1.55-$2.71

Ambassador Bridge (US-Canada border)

Distance: 3.7km Toll: $5.30 Cost per km: $1.43

Severn Crossing (England-Wales border)

Distance: 5.3km Toll: $11.46 Cost per km: $2.20

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Japan)

Distance: 3.9km Toll: $23 Cost per km: $5.89

Nurburgring Nordschleife (Germany)

Distance: 20.8km Toll: $38 Cost per km: $1.82

Oresund Connection (Sweden- Denmark )

Distance 11.4km Toll: $67.70 Cost per km: $5.73

Millau Viaduct (France)

Distance: 2.46km Toll: $8.95-$13.40 Cost per km: $3.63-$5.44

Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (China)

Distance: 42km Toll: $8.16 Cost per km: 19c

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. with the price of petrol if you take the longer route, you will still be paying nearly as much, then there is wear and tear on the car added into that. Anyway they can they try to squeeze every last cent out of us

  2. Hardly ever use them as they’re far too expensive. In Brissie if they really wanted to help with congestion by building all these tunnels they would’ve kept them at a reasonable price to get the cars off the major roads. But selling to a private company was the dumbest idea ever. if anyone knows of a private company that doesn’t want to make a profit then I’ll eat my hat!!
    As my hubby says, if they halved the toll they’d get three times as many people using it! Win win situation! Even having two costs would help – a higher one during peak hour to make up for putting it at half price the rest of the time.

  3. The Go Between bridge would have to be one of the shortest toll roads I’ve ever been on! Unfortunately, I was lost and crossed it twice before I realised! Moral of the story “don’t get lost in Brisbane”! LOL

  4. It must be patently obvious by now that the horrendously expensive road building and improvement, is never going to catch up with the increasing amount of ever cheaper and fuel efficient cars flooding our roads. We will always be paying increasing tolls for the privilege of sitting in traffic snarl-ups. Some lateral thinking is required, not something our road planners are good at.

  5. After Mike and Co sell off all our assets, we will be paying rent in our own State + Taxes, Privatisation they call it, you ain’t anything yet…..Conservatives and Profits on your wallet….. You voted for them, good luck……

  6. I live in a country town. No private road tolls.
    However, it is a damn nuisance when I go to Sydney or Melbourne and I am on a toll road and don’t know it. Then when I get home I get a bill in the mail. I apparently went on a toll road twice in Melbourne in January. Not only was I charged $15 for each time but I was also fined $30 for not paying within 48 hours of driving on the roads plus $12 administration fees.
    I rang and protested and so they dropped the fine and tge administration costs. But they were really rude about it and told me that even though I don’t live in Victoria, I should still have a disc on my car so when I am over there it will automatically register and they can direct debit my bank account.

  7. I come from Nth Qld…..big Cities seem to be out for as much money as they can get, from the motorist. Toll roads, parking, you name it. I try to use public transport in the city.

  8. I hate tolls, particularly as you do not always know you were on one, or what one you were on, at least with booths it was convenient to pay. I don’t have a disc as we seldom use the roads.

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