Are Toll Roads Good for Us, Or Massive a Rippoff.

Toll roads have been a hot topic, for generations. There have been much-hated  toll roads since there were roads. What has changed is they way roads are funded.

The larger Australian cities are now lousy with expensive, private roads. Most of them are owned by Transurban, a company that paid just $112.1million on $2.9 billion on the 2015-16 tax year. That’s an effective rate of bugger-all. The system is not designed to provide good traffic flow or high quality roads, but to divert money into the pockets government donors.

Now, back to the tolls roads, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling it “toll mania” . She misspoke at a media, but did she?

In the last decade, Sydney has been ringed by expensive toll roads, and the M1/Northconnex tunnel is the latest expensive tunnel designed to get trucks of surface roads.

Tollways include the M7, M5, M2 and M1, and the outrageous re-tolling of the M4. Existing tollways such as the Sydney harbour Bridge, Eastern Distributor are under consideration for a 2-way toll rather than a toll in only one direction.

Take a quick look at the table below, and a car/bike in the Class A could easily use 4 or more of these each day, each way. Some of the tolls are capped, and others have a government rebate. Cars must carry a toll tag, while bikes have their plates captured and identified. Some have a distance-based fee, or a time-of-day fee, or one price no matter when you travel. Users have no hope of understanding the complex rates.

Operators have gone bust over the decades, so to “sweeten the deal,” the NSW government promised to underwrite the profit of the operator. Nice work if you can get it.