Truckies’ days of using Pennant Hills Road instead of a $23.97 tollway in Sydney are numbered.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance revealed to Ray Hadley on 2GB this morning that the controversial NorthConnex tunnel will open from October 31, with the steep toll applying from day one.
Truckies who have a local destination off Pennant Hills Road can continue using the existing route without charge, however.
A vehicle transporting dangerous goods with a dangerous goods placard, or sign, and an oversize vehicle operating under a Class 1 permit, or notice approved to use Pennant Hills Road, are also exempt from having to travel in the tunnel.
All other drivers of trucks over 12.5m long, or over 2.8m clearance height, must head into the tunnel from the end of this month, and if caught flouting the rules will be fined $191 (no demerit points).
Constance told Hadley the Sydney tunnel will help divert up to 5,000 trucks a day from Pennant Hills Road, one of the city’s most congested roads and save lives.
“We’ve seen over 400 people injured and seriously injured on Pennant Hills Road,” he said.
“One in four accidents on Pennant Hills Road involves a truck, compared to the rest of the road network which is about one in 14.”
He added that the NorthConnex featured the latest in tunnel technology, including 24/7 monitoring.
“NorthConnex will be the first road tunnel in Australia to include innovative lighting features, including trees, starscapes and birds, aimed at keeping drivers engaged. Testing is being conducted on systems we’ve never seen in any other tunnel in Australia.”
To see what the tunnel looks like behind the wheel of a car, click here.