Reform of Sydney’s tollroad network

From 1 January 2024, weekly tolls will be capped at $60 a week, on top of the existing rebate. The new NSW government has now taken on a review of Sydney’s tollroad network for the purpose of long-term reform.

New weekly toll cap

Weekly tolls will be capped at $60 a week from 1 January 2024. This will be on top of the existing 40% rebate for motorists who spend more than $375 a year on tolls.  However, the current Registration Relief Scheme ends 30 June 2023.

Latest review of tollroad network

The latest review, begun by the previous NSW government, aims to make tollroads simpler and fairer. The current system is confusing for motorists because it is inconsistent in pricing rates and methods, and vehicle classification. For commuters who don’t have viable public transport, it could be unfair.

Head of the review, Alan Fels, will look at whether offering toll rebates benefits tollroad operators more than motorists. This is because rebates encourage them to use these roads more than they might otherwise. He will also consider:

  • Potential competition and compliance in tollroad contracts
  • Moving freight on the roads at night
  • How public transport and toll roads intersect
  • What other jurisdictions do.

Fels will also negotiate with tolling operators on behalf of all motorists. Tollroad operator, Transurban, owns or has a stake in nearly all the tollroads in Sydney. It will have to work productively with the review to achieve any meaningful reform.

This is not the first review of Sydney’s tollroads. NSW Legislative Council in August 22 released a report with 10 recommendations. A toll review in 2017 issued a report with 8 recommendations. It will be interesting to see whether any of these recommendations find their way into long-term tollroad reform.