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Taking a toll: Truckies clog suburban roads to avoid ‘outrageous’ expense

Article image for Taking a toll: Truckies clog suburban roads to avoid ‘outrageous’ expense

Trucking company Toll Group are advising their employees to take suburban routes to avoid exorbitant tolls, the Transport Workers Union has revealed to a NSW parliamentary inquiry.

The Forest and Stoney Creek road intersection at Bexley is one of the ‘rat runs’ of greatest concern, with heavy vehicles adding to the congestion and creating a hazard for other motorists.

Independent Bayside councillor Liz Barlow is pushing to have the M5 East tunnel toll removed or reduced, telling Jim Wilson she wants Transport Minister Andrew Constance to front up to the mess.

“It’s absolutely catastrophic … someone’s going to get killed one day.

“I don’t blame the trucks for not going [in the tunnel], they can’t afford it.

“We just want them to stand on the corner of Stoney Creek Road, and admit that they’ve done something that’s really catastrophic to the area.”

Press PLAY below to hear the councillor’s plea

Independent truck driver Paul Newton told Jim the tolls account for more than 10 per cent of his fixed income, forcing him to drive Sydney’s rat runs instead.

“You have to.

“The only problem with that is that it adds hours to your day – I already work a 10 to 11-hour day as it is, but when the congestion comes back after the pandemic I’ll be back up to a 12, 14-hour day.

“Free delivery doesn’t come for free – I’m the poor bugger at the end of the line that’s paying for it.”

Press PLAY below to hear Paul’s story in full

Local businesses are also taking a hit from the increased traffic, Bexley Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Tullock said.

“It certainly makes trading conditions very difficult Jim.

“It’s affecting the way people trade, they trade from a closed shopfront … so they’re trying to isolate themselves from the noise.”

Press PLAY below to hear the business response

Image: YouTube

Jim Wilson
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