Motorcycle toll charge needs to be adjusted to one-quarter the rate of cars.
Motorcycle riders are prepared to pay THE CORRECT RATE OF TOLL
Because cars are smaller and lighter than trucks they are charged less to use motorways. Motorcycles are smaller and lighter than cars yet they pay the same toll as cars.
Motorcycles were forgotten in Transport plans for Private toll roads.
WHY should motorcycle riders pay for this failure in transport planning by successive State Governments?
Motorcycle Tolls are a Transport Planning Failure
It is clear that motorcycles were not included in planning for PPP contracted roads, despite assertions to the contrary.
E-Tags don’t work on most motorcycles. No planning.
E-Tags cannot be mounted on most motorcycles No planning
E-tags were designed for an enclosed vehicle only. They get wet or full of dust and fail, break easily due to vibration and are dangerous to carry upon the riders person No Planning
Toll plaza equipment can distinguish trucks from cars, but seems unable to distinguish a motorcycle No Planning
Administration costs for non-E-Tag holders are crippling.
Cashless toll roads are discriminatory and socially divisive
Prior to PPP roads, motorcycles paid one-quarter the car toll rate.
No allocation for motorcycle toll rate in establishing PPP roads No Planning
After PPP roads, motorcycles were reclassified as “cars” No Planning, failed to include them so created an inequity, blaming motorcycles for not fitting their perforated plan
After PPP roads, motorcycles have to pay the same rate as a car Punishment for not fitting the No Plan Arrogance with inequity
The present administration has abandoned motorcycle riders to the ravages of the toll road operators. It has been left to motorcycle rider to solve the problem. This is a classic case of abrogation of responsibility by government.
History & Context
Prior 1992, the motorcycle toll for the Sydney Harbour Bridge was capped at one quarter of the rate for automobiles. When the Sydney Harbour Tunnel opened for traffic on 31 August 1992, the separate classification for motorcycles disappeared.
This was direct result of the “Private-Public Partnership” (PPP) funding arrangements entered into by State government
Motorcycles were not considered at all in the planning for private toll roads under “PPP” arrangements.
Motorcycles do not exist in traffic counts, hence have been invisible to public policy. This affects road safety, parking and tolls.
Motorcycles are currently lumped in with cars as an afterthought and required to pay as if they were a car.
This failure of transport planning has been gouging motorcyclists since 1992.
Motorcycles are Discriminated Against under the Roads & Traffic Act
For the purposes of the Roads and Traffic Act, a motorcycle is classified as a vehicle with two axles and therefore is required to pay the same rate of toll as a car.
A bicycle is also defined as a vehicle with two axles for the purposes of the relevant Acts and therefore is also subject to tolls This is not enforced, so bicycles go free and also pay no parking charges.
By the same definition that places a motorcycle in “Class 2”, a car with fully independent suspension is classified as having four axles and hence should be charged at the rate of a truck.
The definitions show no consistency in application or interpretation. Some common sense would be welcome.
A Fair & Equitable approach is needed
Prior to the Harbour Tunnel opening, a car was charged four times the rate for a motorcycle. This reflected one quarter the size, one-quarter the weight and much smaller engine size.
Motorcycles have a number of advantages to road management
- Lower road space occupancy with small size
- Low road wear with low weight
- Low traffic congestion
- Low exhaust emissions with smaller engines
- Lowered need for more roads and additional lanes
Motorcyclists are willing to pay a toll. As long as it is a fair and reasonable rate of toll.
Re-establishing the fair and equitable rate for tolls is necessary.
Registration Charges reflect road wear costs. Yet tolls do not reflect a similar approach.
No suitable or safe electronic transponder system has been made available for motorcyclists.
Current E-tags are dangerous and extremely difficult to use, resulting in unreliability and additional charges due to failure of inappropriate technology.
- Marcus Wigan, ‘Motorcycle Transport: Powered Two Wheelers in Victoria‘. Report for VicRoads by Oxford Systematics on behalf of the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council.