Tolls have been raised despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Picture: David Caird
Tolls have been raised despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Picture: David Caird

Truckies label increase in toll prices a joke

BIG Rigs readers didn’t hold back when they heard that tolls were still being increased despite the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

Transurban faced criticism for pressing ahead with the rise in toll charges for both heavy vehicles and trucks on Sydney and Melbourne motorways.

Transport Workers Union NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen wrote about the issue in his Big Rigs column, prompting drivers to speak their mind.

“I am wondering, when this pandemic is done, will Transurban as a company support the truck drivers who have been ‘supporting’ them?” he asked.

“The pressures on drivers move loads efficiently for clients mean that they you are forced to use the toll roads, adding to the costs that are already high.”

Driver Michael Blythe called to “get the cars off the freeways and give commercial vehicles priority if you’re going to charge extortionate tolls”.

“There should be car-free corridors through all major cities. They are the problem not us!”

Others labelled the move a “joke” but some discussed why they would and wouldn’t pass the costs onto their customers.

Some said adding costs on such as toll prices would mean “they would just axe you and get Linfox or Toll to cart freight” but some argued saying other industries, such as builders, passed on any increased costs to consumers.

“Why shouldn’t transport do the same?” Darren Lebsanft asked.

He believed this stance was why the transport industry was “in the state it is”.

“Too many idiots out there thinking because the wheels are turning, they are in full cost recovery.”

Both the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance voiced their disappointment in Transurban’s behaviour.

Mr Constance wanted the prise rise reversed and for tolls to be frozen for three months and the Deputy Prime Minister said it was “the last thing Australians need”.