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NSW tolls. Why are we still paying?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by aaahhh, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Why are we still paying full freight for using toll roads in NSW? when the NSW motorcycle and scooter strategy and action plan was to look into this.

    12 Tolls
    The City will advocate for fair and convenient payment options for riders.
    The use of e-tags on motorcycles remains inconvenient and problematic for many riders, and there is a clear need to adopt a better e-tolling or
    charging system for motorcycles. In Melbourne motorcyclists pay half the car toll on the EastLink motorway, and travel for free on other toll roads. In London, motorcyclists do not pay the Congestion Charge. However, in Sydney
    motorcyclists pay the same fee as cars. Riders at toll booths must stop, remove their gloves, retrieve coins or notes, and then replace their gloves before resuming their journey. The delay is frustrating both for riders and following drivers.
    E-tag systems could overcome this inconvenience, but tag technology has not been developed with motorcyclists in mind. In some cases, riders must wear an armband to secure a tag, which is less convenient than a vehiclemounted tag, and is easily lost or forgotten.It does not represent a fair long-term solution for motorcyclists. The City will advocate for a more convenient and equitable tolling arrangement for motorcyclists.
    How do we get this addressed, as well as other issues. Is it time to block the city traffic with motorbikes to get some changes made????

  2. Just so you know you can get a unlimited pass for the Bridge/tunnel for around $90 a quarter.

    Also add your plate to the etag and they will plate match it on the RTA roads, on the private tollways they send you a bill but if you say you have a etoll and give them the number you get the normal price.
  3. I think the motorcycle and scooter strategy and action plan was only a City of Sydney thing (IE council) not NSW gov't - happy to be corrected though. What they meant by "advocating for a more convenient and equitable tolling arrangement" I couldn't say.

    Otherwise I am with you, it cost me over $7 to see my sister on the weekend going on the M5 which is a rort - if there is a ride count me in.
  4. Be aware that if you use a tag (or use the number plate matching above) you can also claim the m5 in the cashback scheme, assuming it is for private use. You don't get the GST back but you get the rest.

    This is for both bikes and cars

    Edit: I think that you have to nominate it with your tag provider if you are going to claim and you have a limited time frame to claim, 6 months IIRC
  5. For the M5 just ride through the 2 etag lanes but as close to the centre line seperating them as possible, the cameras are mounted to catch car number plates in the centre of the lane, I've never yet received a toll notice for the M5
  6. I have an etag and my bike plate is connected to it, I am dirty that I am paying car rates. It's a joke. .

    I don't want to pay $90 a quarter to cross the bridge, it should be $35 a quarter for a bike, that is my point. why are we paying car prices.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Car price is $4 a trip, if you travel in peak, if you do it every weekday once a day that is approx $240 per quarter.
  8. It is just shite, one of the most unfair issues in NSW that needs to be addressed. It used to be 1/4 the price to cross the bridge. Then they got rid of it when they opened the tunnel. And all the new toll roads took up the same pricing. What really pisses me off is that the signs that show price per vehicle single out bikes, then charge the same price.

    I find that the price to ride through every toll in sydney, except the harbour crossings works out to be $60 an hour for your time. I dont earn this much so why would I pay it? After all I kind of enjoy being on the bike even if im commuting. I'd certainly rather be riding then working. So I will rarely go through a toll road.

    Count me in for any action. I thought to make a point hold a ride over the bridge where we get a line of as may bikes as we can to slowly go through a toll gate. Each rider holds a sign reading "cheaper tolls for motorcyclist" obscuring the license plate of the bike in front from the camera. 100 bikes go through and pay one toll.
  9. This is my understanding. Unfortunately Clover Moore has been branded a radical for trying to fix things in Sydney, so these type of statements don't help us much. Our best chance does appear to lye with the current roads and transport minister as he does appear to be a motoring enthusiast, but I'm not holding my breath.

    We should be pushing hard on about 4 or 5 key issues as we may never get the opportunity again.

    Filtering, Greenslips, tolls and footpath parking come to mind.
  10. I don't want to be too negative but the issue that you have to overcome is that except for the M5 and the Bridge the rest are private roads. The toll price is regulated in the contract.

    Any change to make motorbikes cheaper would have to deal with the contract and probably a subsequent compensation claim by the
    private company.

    I know that "hills motorway" (owner of the M2) said that they would not consider any reduction for bikes because at speed we take up the same roadspace, the cost of toll ways is about the space your take up rather as the damage is relatively minor cost in comparison.

    I don't see any way forward on this issue and think that our time would be better spent on the other issues that ibast raises, especially filtering.

    Edit: Another thing I do as I ride the bridge everyday is: When there is another rider in front of me I "accidentally" get between him and the camera. I have an unlimited pass so I don't care about if I get snapped but another rider might not have to pay if I get in the right spot. I have got some looks for being too close though :)
  11. fair point
  12. For those of us that use or avoid tolls everyday its a big issue. If I go the most direct way to work it will cost me $30 a day. I filter all the time and I've never had any problem with the law. There are fairer tolls in Brisbane and Melbourne for bikes, so its not a stretch to say that it is possible here. This is my number one issue.
  13. I like that kind of thinking, wonder if that can be turned into action??
  14. I understand it would be an issue if you had to use the m5/m7 everyday.

    I was just pointing out reality though, I do wonder how the Vics/Qlds got it free though as they are private roads as well. I wonder if it was written different in the contract.
  15. The M5 is private too.

    Back before the rebate system went in, the then Labor government promised in the lead up to an election to wipe tolls for bikes. They saw how popular the policy was and expanded it to all vehicles. The problem was, when they won the election, they approached the private M4 and M5 companies and the price they asked was too high. This is why the rebate system was introduced.

    Since then we've had the M2 and m7 tolls go in.

    Vetical C is right, but I think it's still one worth pushing for. It's one that rarely meat negative opinion from the general public. The government could reasonable compensate the private toll companies for motorcycles without stressing the sate coffers too much. The M5 contract is nearing the end and the M2 is in the latter half. These private companies can only push their case so far, because if it went to court, they can only demand the contract value and reasonable compensation.
  16. I'm currently searching for legislation on obscuring registration plates. To see if the law only covers obscuring your own plates or does it cover obscuring other peoples plates and having your plates obscured by the actions of others. I'm not having any luck but if it is the former then we could do this with absolutly no illegalities.

    The other option is to make a very public boycott of bikes using motorways. I do this personally but if we made a point of doing it then the toll companies might see there is more to be made by reducing bike tolls.

    If toll companies had a fairer price then they would be making a hell of a lot more money off me.
  17. I wasn't aware of the full history of the cashback, that makes it more promising.

    I wonder how many bikes do actually use these roads, are we looking at all roads or just the m2/m7.

    Agree with this, except for the m2 and the bridge (where I have an unlimited pass) I will always go round. The 10 minutes it saves is not worth it. If I ever hire a car I always use it as it is 20 minutes saved so is worth it.
  18. Some really good points here, especially in focussing on a small number of matters at a time.

    I think for each protest ride though its important to just focus purely on one issue so the message is crystal clear - I think its also important to start with the one that at least has some support in the general community IE to cagers et al and is easily explained in everyday language in a few short words. The benefits of this are two fold:

    1. if there is a good support base there is a better chance of making the change happen and
    2. If it is successful (and supported by many) the powers that be would be more likely to pay attention to other requests or threats of protest in the future.

    To add a further point any success that leads to further uptake of bikes/scooters would only boost our prospects of success with any further action.

    Getting back to my point of making a point clear; although I think filtering is beneficial to all road users it pisses many motorists off and even the term would be unfamiliar to many hence perhaps difficult to communicate easily so I would be inclined to keep this one in the background for the moment. I like the idea of tolls as I think even if people don't like bikes/scooters they would still find it difficult to argue that a bike should pay the same as a car and could aimed at car drivers as saying "Should cars pay the same toll as trucks? Then why are bikes paying the same as cars?" - the best I could come up with I'm sure there are better wordsmiths out there.

    As a final note, although I'm happy for this to start as netrider thing and grow from there is there not a better avenue for this MCC or another body? If so are they not already working on some of these and if not why not? Not pulling any punches just haven't seen anything or have had my head in the sand.
  19. That is an interesting point about the trucks and also counters the argument that Hills Motorway had. We all take up the same space at speed why do 5 tonne trucks pay double cars.

    So their argument that we should pay the same based on "road space required at speed" might be a furphy.
  20. Some quick calculations i've made while riding through and around tolls.

    Eastern Distributor/ Cross city tunnel: Cost $10.06, time to go through, 10 mins, time to avoid, 15 mins, cost per hour to use $120

    Lane Cove Tunnel: Cost $2.89, time to go through, 3 minutes, time to avoid 6 minutes (nice bus lane the whole way). $57.80 an hour.

    Eastern Distributor: cost $5.50, time to go through, 5 minutes, time to avoid, 11 minutes. $55/ hrs.

    M7 from M4 reservoir rd exit to richmond road, cost $2.72, time to go through 9 minutes, tome to avoid, 13 minutes. Cost $40/ hrs

    Think about it this way, if someone told you I want to pay you $40 an hour to ride your bike would anyone here say no? Most people here are boycotting tolls, what we need to do is publicise this and make the companies realise that there is a buck to be made from lowering bike tolls.