The NRMA has commissioned a report which calls for a new approach to measuring the successes and failures of Sydney’s congested road network, along with an overhaul of the tolling system.
Called ‘Improving The Performance Of Sydney’s Road Network’, the report calls upon the New South Wales Government to adopt a performance review-type system to monitor exactly how well Sydney’s roads are coping.
Under the scheme, the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) would “measure, monitor and report” on the performance of Sydney’s roads under key indicators that could appear in a weekly report and a wider annual report.
The NRMA's report also calls for an independent body to determine toll levels for Sydney’s motorways, increasing or decreasing fees within a ‘cap’.
While not stated in the report, the NRMA has also called for rebates to be issued to motorists using poor-performing roads and toll increases to be linked to the consumer price index (CPI).
"It's time motorists got what they paid for,” NRMA President, Kyle Loades said.
“That's why the NRMA is calling for motorways to pay back tolls when there are avoidable delays such as poor maintenance planning and late running road works. If it can be done for water and power, it can be done on our roads."
Mr Loades said the timing of the report was critical, as Sydney embarks on the significant M5, Westconnex and Northconnex road projects - viewed as ‘missing links’ in the current motorway network.
While supporting these projects, Mr Loades said the NRMA was concerned by rumours that tolls would be set above the level of inflation once the roads are opened to the public.
Loades added that all new toll roads should be free for the first month to encourage motorists to trial them, and that free alternatives should still exist with no “funnelling into tunnels” designed to trap motorists into paying tolls.
The report concluded that Sydney’s roads have been met by “a systemic lack of understanding of the congestion crisis”.
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