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Toll Roads for Canberra?

By Hosinator - 21 January 2014 45

According to the recent Crimes article on the State of the State, Action buses are bleeding between $93 and $100 million a year. I’m wondering if the time has come for the ACT Government to consider toll roads across Canberra in an effort to stop the bleeding.

With an extensive and ever growing road network, I don’t know how we can sustain the levels of building and road maintenance for such a small population.

I’m not after opinion on the logistics or difficulties in setting up toll roads and that you’ll get rat runners etc (the easiest way to counter this is to have toll road devices at every entrance and exit to a suburb, town centre or industrial area across the ACT.)

I want to know if you think it will happen, should it be a flat fee, no matter how far or how many roads you use in a day, will it have a positive impact on the ACT Government budget and increase patronage of the buses, cycle network?

Over to you!


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45 Responses to
Toll Roads for Canberra?
gazket 5:04 pm 21 Jan 14

only Belconnen way counts as you don’t have to turn off. 🙂

johnboy 4:54 pm 21 Jan 14

Belconnen Way, William Hovell Drive, Ginninderra Drive.

That’s three no?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 4:51 pm 21 Jan 14

Dock the drivers pay by around 50% should help a bit.

gazket 4:45 pm 21 Jan 14

Is this the same person who suggested we should pay Australia Post $30 every year to get our mail delivered.

Belconnen has 1 main road to the city . I hardly think that is extensive .

enrique 4:30 pm 21 Jan 14

Canberra is by no means unique in its dilemma regarding a costly bus service. Most cities around the world have the same issue.

There are only a few that are profitable. Have a read of the following for a rough guide…

Persephone 4:24 pm 21 Jan 14

Action busses should be made free, and parking should be doubled in costs. Carrot an stick approach to the environment, as well as costs for road maintenance. Make it worth catching a bus, and make it such that driving a car is not worth it.

Innovation 4:23 pm 21 Jan 14

Toll roads will only work if there is still enough incentive to use the toll road and it doesn’t encourage rat running or congestion elsewhere. A toll road such as a revamped Kings or Barton Highway might work as the alternatives are likely not to be viable for many and they have a reasonable amount of traffic. Toll roads in Canberra would only work if it saved at least 15 or 20 minutes off a trip or the toll was so inconsequential as to not merit rat running – neither of which is likely.

Congestion charges at certain times, particularly around the city might be good but, as I’ve found in a previous thread, not many people like that idea either.

enrique 4:22 pm 21 Jan 14

Correct me if I’m mistaken but isn’t the main driver for a toll road to pay for the road itself? Not to pay for some other spuriously connected inefficient service?

The market distortion effects of putting a toll on a road to pay for a bus service are just way out of whack IMO.

davo101 3:54 pm 21 Jan 14

Action buses are bleeding between $93 and $100 million a year. I’m wondering if the time has come for the ACT Government to consider toll roads across Canberra in an effort to stop the bleeding.

Action buses are subsidised just like every other metro bus service in Australia. The biggest problem that we have is that the farebox recovery is too small, but even if you doubled the fares we still looking at ~$70 million a year to have a bus service.

Nylex_Clock 3:49 pm 21 Jan 14

We already have a system for collecting money to pay for infrastructure and services: taxes.

Adding tolls on top of taxes introduces yet another costly layer of administration which is not needed considering there is the existing system for collecting money to pay for these things.

Toll roads are yet another example of the extensive privatisation scam that big business with little politicians in their pockets have been using to rip us off for the last few decades.

Gina Reinhart can afford to pay for our roads. She “earned” her money by being allowed by our insubstantial leaders to make a massive fortune out of exploiting our communal assets. She should pay. Ditto the rest of them.

gooterz 3:37 pm 21 Jan 14


neanderthalsis 3:29 pm 21 Jan 14

If we put vehicle toll on ACT roads, will cyclist have to pay too? While we’re at it, those darned pedestrians get their foot paths for nothing, slug them too. They should support Action and catch a bus instead of perambulating.

A lot of commuters in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane still drive in on the toll roads and pay for parking rather than use the public transport system, and the public transport system in those capitals have a better coverage, greater frequency in peak timers and are more reliable (except in 40 plus temps in Melb) than out dilapidated network of antiquated charabancs. Toll roads, except where there is major infrastructure like tunnels and bridges involved, are just a cop out by governments who poorly manage their road network.

zorro29 3:04 pm 21 Jan 14

Well I’d have to look at the stats of revenue raised against how the money is used.

That said, Canberrans don’t know how lucky they are with their extensive road network and lack of tolls. I moved from Canberra to Sydney in July last year and had forgotten how many toll roads there are in Sydney…seriously, it’s almost impossible to get around without a toll. And it adds up too…if I travel south, it’s $25 round trip just in tolls. A trip up north is a little more.

It would be nice if other cities pitched in with tolls and not just constant gouging of Sydney-siders…….

c_c™ 2:57 pm 21 Jan 14

Not going to happen, shouldn’t happen. Between fuel and parking fees, a toll is going to make negligible difference in changing transport behaviour. Only place it’s justifiable is in funding major capital investment infrastructure, hence I would support a toll on the Kings Highway or Barton Highway in return for their full lengths being upgraded to motorway standard.

CrocodileGandhi 2:50 pm 21 Jan 14

I reckon you’ll get about as much support on this as you would campaigning for a nude calendar featuring Steve Dozspot, Joy Burch and Vicki Dunne.

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