Transport companies call for shared road costs

Mid-market transport companies have called for all road users to share the burden of paying for new roads, despite a recent push to sting trucks with increased tolls, Business Review Weekly (BRW) reported.

BRW quoted Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chief Executive, Stuart St. Clair, as saying the main problem on Australia’s increasingly congested roads was “millions and millions” of motor cars.

St. Clair’s comment came on the back of infrastructure projects in New South Wales and Victoria – the $3 billion NorthConnex tunnel and the $850 million widening of the Tullamarine Freeway – partly being funded by increases to truck tolls.

According to BRW, Ron Crouch Transport’s Managing Director, Geoff Crouch, said the trucking industry shouldn’t be forced to pay for every new road through higher tolls because fuel excise and road user charges should be used by governments to build new highways before tolls.

“I’ve got no problem with paying my fair share because we get the benefit of better roads. But if mine’s going to go up, then everyone’s should go up,” he said. He added that increased spending on public transport to get more cars off the road was also a way of making the industry more efficient and the current investment in public transport in the major cities wasn’t going far enough.

According to BRW, the trucking industry comprises many ‘mid-market’ operators turning over between $10 million and $250 million per year.

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