The Sydney Harbour Bridge will shed its southern toll booths in mid-2014, in a bid to improve traffic flow.
While still present, the booths have been out of action since the bridge switched in 2009 to electronic tolling only.
Work is set to begin shortly on dismantling the toll booths as part of an extensive upgrade to the southern end of the bridge.
Toll booths have been part of the Harbour Bridge experience ever since the grand opening in 1932, a period stretching 81 years.
Once the booths are gone, the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) expect traffic flow to improve greatly.
The speed limit will increase from 40 to 70km/h at the southern end. The RMS expects less driver confusion and better traffic flows once the upgrade is completed.
It also hopes to ease driver angst over failing E-Tag recognition, which wasn’t an issue until the recent introduction of an administration fee to match registrations to E-Tag accounts.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay appeared on several radio programs to assure drivers that the fee would not be charged if the driver claims the tag was present at the time.
A new electronic tolling system will be attached to the existing gantries at the northern end of the bridge only.
Photo: Jim Ellwanger, Flickr.