It’s undeniable, though, that people are fed up with paying an ever-rising price for the privilege of using roads that are often more congested than toll-free alternatives. Especially in the west, where residents travel greater distances and spend more time away from their families than their eastern counterparts.
The fact they can only dream of the employment, education and transport options available to those on the other side of Parramatta only adds fuel to the fire.
Now, the only untolled freeway available to them, the M4, is about to have a price slapped back on it for the next 43 years by the state government as part of WestConnex.
That’s why the parliamentary inquiry into tolls in Sydney is so important. Questions have long been asked about the pricing, longevity and transparency of toll roads, which are almost exclusively owned by private companies in Sydney.
Last week, the mayors of Penrith and Blacktown appeared before the inquiry to speak on behalf of their long-suffering constituents. Chief among their priorities was the introduction of an area-based cap for motorists, and an independent price regulator to address the inexplicable gap in prices for using different roads, say the M2 and M7 for example.
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