A NSW parliamentary inquiry into the state’s tolling system has heard calls for tolls to be slashed on the M5 tunnel in a bid to prevent trucks from using Sydney’s suburban roads.
Local business owners and residents from the western Sydney suburb of Bexley told the enquiry that since tolls were added to the previously free M5 tunnel, truck movements in the area have quadrupled.
The inquiry into is continuing to investigate the problems of Sydney’s growing toll road network.
The NSW Government imposed the new toll along the M5 corridor in 2020 to coincide with the opening of the M8.
That added cost being slugged onto drivers has resulted in numerous truckies opting for alternative roads instead.
Local business owner Angelo Elliott, who has run the Forest Inn for 44 years, says he’s now had to reconfigure the hotel because of traffic noise and air pollution.
Further evidence tabled in the inquiry showed that in 2015, there was an average of 610 trucks using local roads each day. Last year, that figure soared to 2695 trucks a day.
“The real solution is to have a close look at the tolls and I’ve already suggested a variable toll structure,” Bexley chamber of commerce president Jeffrey Tullock said.
“Perhaps consider having them abolished at the weekend or maybe late at night so people can have a good night’s sleep.”
Local businesses say clearways have also been put in place to keep traffic moving, which has impacted street parking.