Toll Review Interim Report submission
29 May, 2024

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Committee for Sydney

Submission / 29 May 2024

Toll Review Interim Report submission

We commend Professor Allan Fels AO and Dr David Cousins AM for their thorough and thought-provoking Toll Review Interim Report. We recognise the work required to propose options for toll reform is not a simple task – indeed, it involves “unscrambling the toll road egg”. 

However, while we support the intention and some recommendations in the interim report, this submission re-prosecutes recommendations we made in our initial NSW Toll Review Submission. We hope the Toll Review can refocus the public debate away from the cost of tolls to the less desirable alternative of a traffic-choked city. 

Our feedback can be summarised into four key points:

  1. Interpretation and approach: “efficiency” and “fairness” should be interpreted as referring to all Sydneysiders, the entire Sydney transport network, and its effect on place. The approach should be “vision and validate”, in line with best practice around the world.
  2. Efficiency: toll efficiency should not be considered in isolation. A toll reform agenda should consider and address how encouraging toll road use will impact surface roads and communities – by inducing more traffic.  
  3. Fairness: a tolling structure and level that is not designed to manage demand on motorways and surface roads cannot be fair. Inducing more traffic and associated pollution is not fair for local communities or future generations.
  4. Toll relief is not efficient or fair: toll relief removes the best thing about a toll – a price signal – which reduces congestion. Instead, a voucher for people experiencing high cost of living would allow them to spend the money on other uses and modes, while retaining a price signal to keep traffic low. 

Read the full submission here.