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Toll Roads for Canberra?

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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Toll Roads for Canberra?
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NoImRight 9:53 am 30 Jan 14

zorro29 said :

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

Umm..what?

magiccar9 11:20 pm 29 Jan 14

Ben_Dover said :

Don’t worry, soon mayor Ratt will spend umpteen billion dollars on a train/tram/not bus thing which will run along virtually the whole of Northbourne avenue, and everyone wil abandon their cars and catch this, as it’s not a bus. The roads will be deserted, the coffers of the ACT overflowing with tram like thing fares, and all will be rosy in the garden. New trees will spring unbidden from the roadside, the Tassie devil will become a regular sighting and unicorns will graze the verges. Soon all the houses in the ACT will become powered by energy harnessed off giant dreamcatchers, rain will fall for an hour each night, and we’ll all live in harmony, just like in the song “melting pot” by Blue Mink.

Surely this is exactly what Rattenbury dreams about at night.

Ben_Dover 5:43 pm 29 Jan 14

Don’t worry, soon mayor Ratt will spend umpteen billion dollars on a train/tram/not bus thing which will run along virtually the whole of Northbourne avenue, and everyone wil abandon their cars and catch this, as it’s not a bus. The roads will be deserted, the coffers of the ACT overflowing with tram like thing fares, and all will be rosy in the garden. New trees will spring unbidden from the roadside, the Tassie devil will become a regular sighting and unicorns will graze the verges. Soon all the houses in the ACT will become powered by energy harnessed off giant dreamcatchers, rain will fall for an hour each night, and we’ll all live in harmony, just like in the song “melting pot” by Blue Mink.

gazket 5:18 pm 29 Jan 14

qbngeek said :

c_c™ said :

Kings Highway casualty crash rate for eastern section is 52.3, double the state average.
Accident rate is 150% higher for the section in Eurobodalla Shire than any other road in the shire, and 36% higher than the Princes Highway, itself a dangerous road.
Accidents on the Kings Highway have greater severity by statewide standards.
40% of the Highway has a lane width under the 3.5 m standard designated by RMS, with several section still having widths under 3m.
Almost 50% of the highway has insufficient, or no shoulders at all.
There are sections with ageing pavement, up to 40 years old, and with question marks over structural integrity.
Several bridges are reaching the end of their engineered life span.
Average for NSW roads of curves with <600m radius is 13% of total length, for the Kings it's 30%.

Traffic on the Kings Highway corridor is projected to increase by 50% over next two decades.

Upgrades to the western section of the Highway have cut the causality accident rate however to half the state average.

Those are the facts.

Where are those facts from? I would like to see if there is any information about what times of year the majority of accidents occur or if they are pretty static all year round.

I have a suspicion that they might be occurring about the same time that a massive amount of motorists with little country driving experience and a desire to get there as quickly as possible are hitting the road.

not only the above but car dynamics change for the worse when you add weight so a sudden weight or inertia change can be uncontrollable or take a lot longer to recover than the lighter car your used to driving every other day.

qbngeek 4:31 pm 29 Jan 14

c_c™ said :

Kings Highway casualty crash rate for eastern section is 52.3, double the state average.
Accident rate is 150% higher for the section in Eurobodalla Shire than any other road in the shire, and 36% higher than the Princes Highway, itself a dangerous road.
Accidents on the Kings Highway have greater severity by statewide standards.
40% of the Highway has a lane width under the 3.5 m standard designated by RMS, with several section still having widths under 3m.
Almost 50% of the highway has insufficient, or no shoulders at all.
There are sections with ageing pavement, up to 40 years old, and with question marks over structural integrity.
Several bridges are reaching the end of their engineered life span.
Average for NSW roads of curves with <600m radius is 13% of total length, for the Kings it's 30%.

Traffic on the Kings Highway corridor is projected to increase by 50% over next two decades.

Upgrades to the western section of the Highway have cut the causality accident rate however to half the state average.

Those are the facts.

Where are those facts from? I would like to see if there is any information about what times of year the majority of accidents occur or if they are pretty static all year round.

I have a suspicion that they might be occurring about the same time that a massive amount of motorists with little country driving experience and a desire to get there as quickly as possible are hitting the road.

ausbradr 6:30 pm 22 Jan 14

voytek3 said :

You want enough money to run the entire country forever? Then spend the money on erecting “Keep Left Unless Overtaking” signs on every single road with more than one lane in the ACT punishable by $300 fines. The morons in this hole would all be declaring banruptcy the same day they went up.

This, this. All of this!!!! *plants the right foot deeper*

magiccar9 5:59 pm 22 Jan 14

watto23 said :

Well buses could be free, but i would earn more money in the hour or 2 a day I save by driving. We all look at the costs, but never the time. I often value an hour of my time is worth at least $50.

so get me a rapid intercity public transport system and you’ll find more Canberrans would use it.
That can be a dedicated bus road or a rail line. But people would use a service if it got them from Tuggers to the City in 20 minutes. Park and rides at intercity bus depots or nearby and maybe some extra stops at important stops ie Dickson, Erindale etc.

Instead we are getting another slow public transport system that will do no better than the buses anyway.

Agreed.

watto23 1:24 pm 22 Jan 14

Well buses could be free, but i would earn more money in the hour or 2 a day I save by driving. We all look at the costs, but never the time. I often value an hour of my time is worth at least $50.

so get me a rapid intercity public transport system and you’ll find more Canberrans would use it.
That can be a dedicated bus road or a rail line. But people would use a service if it got them from Tuggers to the City in 20 minutes. Park and rides at intercity bus depots or nearby and maybe some extra stops at important stops ie Dickson, Erindale etc.

Instead we are getting another slow public transport system that will do no better than the buses anyway.

voytek3 10:01 am 22 Jan 14

You want enough money to run the entire country forever? Then spend the money on erecting “Keep Left Unless Overtaking” signs on every single road with more than one lane in the ACT punishable by $300 fines. The morons in this hole would all be declaring banruptcy the same day they went up.

chilli 11:16 pm 21 Jan 14

Not sure what you’re trying to achieve here. Toll roads won’t necessarily increase patronage on buses, especially with the level of service they currently offer. So if your aim is to save the ACT taxpayer some money, this proposal won’t achieve it (ask the taxpayers of NSW and VIC how much money they feel they’re saving with all the toll roads they have).

All toll roads will end up doing is shift part of the cost of ACTION to car drivers, without pressure on ACTION to increase efficiency or (if carbon emissions concern you) reducing car usage. And any case, the ACT government is unlikely to reduce taxes but just shift spending elsewhere. Net loss to drivers and (depending on your faith in ACT Government spending decisions) a loss to taxpayers as well.

I have some sympathy with the idea of free buses (certainly alot more economically sound than spending hundreds of millions for a short bit of light rail to benefit around 20% of Canberrans), but if we’re going to look at cross-subsidisation what about this:

ABS stats for 2013 show 273,924 vehicles registered in the ACT. If you were to pass the cost of the $100m subsidy for ACTION on to car owners, that would work out at a levy of $365 per vehicle per annum.

Given that the current MyWay fare is $2.84 per adult for a one way journey, that works out at 128.5 trips per annum (or at a return journey each day, the cost of catching a bus for 64.3 days – or, if you are using a bus for a return journey five days a week, 12.8 weeks worth of fares).

So why not, in exchange for the $365 levy at rego time each year, you get a pre-paid MyWay card for 129 journeys? You will be more likely to use the bus (since you have now paid for it), and the pressure of having to accommodate extra patronage may put some extra political pressure on the Government and ACTION to deliver better services – as well as the direct extra subsidy to make funding additional services more achievable.

It will also give people the chance to experience the pleasure of not paying for parking – and they might continue to catch the bus once the 129 ‘free’ trips are used. And if all vehicle owners were off the road for 64 days of the year it would certainly decrease congestion overall.

Anyway, may not be an idea that appeals, but if people truly believe ‘something needs to be done’ about the cost of ACTION, I think it’s a more palatable idea than masochistically imposed toll roads which will not end up doing anything about ACTION buses at all.

ausbradr 10:43 pm 21 Jan 14

Have a sing along with our mate Tony, and you’ll find the answer to the suggestion of tollroads in the ACT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi-q0ALVzPg

LSWCHP 10:20 pm 21 Jan 14

CrocodileGandhi said :

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.

Tosspot and Dunne, no thanks…but Joy Burch…mmmm…

🙂

c_c™ 9:04 pm 21 Jan 14

Kings Highway casualty crash rate for eastern section is 52.3, double the state average.
Accident rate is 150% higher for the section in Eurobodalla Shire than any other road in the shire, and 36% higher than the Princes Highway, itself a dangerous road.
Accidents on the Kings Highway have greater severity by statewide standards.
40% of the Highway has a lane width under the 3.5 m standard designated by RMS, with several section still having widths under 3m.
Almost 50% of the highway has insufficient, or no shoulders at all.
There are sections with ageing pavement, up to 40 years old, and with question marks over structural integrity.
Several bridges are reaching the end of their engineered life span.
Average for NSW roads of curves with <600m radius is 13% of total length, for the Kings it's 30%.

Traffic on the Kings Highway corridor is projected to increase by 50% over next two decades.

Upgrades to the western section of the Highway have cut the causality accident rate however to half the state average.

Those are the facts.

qbngeek 8:50 pm 21 Jan 14

c_c™ said :

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.

the funny thing is that there are hundreds of us who drive the kings hway every day without issues and without complaint. The only people who complain are the people who don’t need to use it all the time.

I have done about 60,000km on the highway in the past year and the only issue i have had is hitting a wombat and that wasn’t on the highway but a dirt back road. Ohh and people with blue and white number plates who insist on sitting right behind me and then overtaking dangerously in order to get to Braidwood less than a minute in front of me.

Maybe you should pay a toll in order to pay for those people to learn how to drive properly, rather then making us suffer for their incompetence.

In addition to this a motorway would destroy the awesome views that make the drive worthwhile, just like realigning and tarring nerriga road destroyed some of the best scenery around the area.

rommeldog56 8:48 pm 21 Jan 14

davo101 said :

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.

If so, where does that leave the ACTION bus deficit when that great bit of loss making infrastructure, the Light Rail for Gungahlin, commences. No doubt, a much larger combined deficit than just ACTIONs currently is. So, where will that leave ACT Gov’t charges, Annual Rates, Commercial Rates, vehicle Registration cost, etc. True, those will inevitably increase over time anyway, but the mal administration of the A.C.Ts budget by the Gallagher/Barr/Rattenbury Gov’t, is greatly accelerating that.

wildturkeycanoe 8:46 pm 21 Jan 14

enrique said :

magiccar9 said :

Going to do diddly-squat unless they provide another feasible way for us to get to work. Example: 15 minute drive vs 2.5 hour bus journey (on several different buses).

The reason ACTION are hemeraging money is because the service is s***, plain and simple. Improve what you sell to your patrons and you shall see an increase in custom.

This.

+1

When I can catch a bus from my house to work [wherever it may be] for less than it costs to register, park and fuel my car, bring on the trolls.

enrique 7:54 pm 21 Jan 14

magiccar9 said :

Going to do diddly-squat unless they provide another feasible way for us to get to work. Example: 15 minute drive vs 2.5 hour bus journey (on several different buses).

The reason ACTION are hemeraging money is because the service is s***, plain and simple. Improve what you sell to your patrons and you shall see an increase in custom.

This.

+1

Deckard 7:43 pm 21 Jan 14

Everyone’s complaining about the chip seal. This would be one way to fix that problem.

gooterz 7:39 pm 21 Jan 14

They should randomly select days to make the bus free.
The idea of revenue from buses is stupid. You have an overhead of ticket sales, ditch this you can then just take slightly more in taxes and everyone is better off.

Making buses free also means you need more of them, but this takes wear off the roads, accidents out of hospitals, stupid ideas of light rail out of pollies heads.

La_Tour_Maubourg 7:27 pm 21 Jan 14

Isn’t there already a “road safety contribution” included with one’s rego payments?

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