Transurban Toll Hike Sparks Outcry

Transurban Toll Hike Sparks Outcry

Brisbane motorists will face an increase in road tolls as operator Transurban raises prices by almost 4 per cent starting July 1. This annual toll hike is in accordance with the Brisbane Consumer Price Index and will affect various routes across the city, including Legacy Way.

At Legacy Way, a 4.6-kilometre tunnel that connects motorists from the Western Freeway at Toowong to the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove. During peak hours, the toll for drivers of cars will increase by 46 cents to $6.60, whilst the price for heavy commercial trucks would jump to $19.79 from $18.73.

The Legacy Way tunnel has been operational since June 2015 and handles approximately 20,000 vehicles daily, significantly reducing travel time between the Centenary Bridge and Inner City Bypass by 71 per cent.

The toll increase comes on the heels of Transurban’s reported 16 per cent revenue growth in their half-yearly financial report to December 2022. In February of this year, Transurban recorded a half-year profit of $55 million.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer Scott Charlton emphasised the strength of Transurban’s business model in the face of rising inflation and interest rates. However, he also acknowledged that the timing of escalations can vary depending on the asset, implying that some markets have yet to fully reflect recent inflation numbers.

In response to the toll increase, Transurban advised motorists experiencing financial hardship to seek support from the Linkt Assist team. This support includes services such as payment plans, extended payment deadlines, and toll credits.

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Describing the toll hike as “unjustifiable,” the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) voiced its opposition. TWU spokesman Richard Olsen raised concerns about the detrimental effects of increased tolls, emphasising that they would result in higher expenses and ultimately impact the prices of goods.

Olsen further pointed out that these toll increases would add pressure on transport workers, forcing them to meet unrealistic deadlines.

Published 1-July-2023