Charges to go up as free-flow tolling takes effect

Queensland Government to increase toll charges for heavy vehicles as it introduces free-flow tolling to combat long travel times

The Queensland Government will this year increase toll charges for heavy vehicles as it introduces free-flow tolling to combat long travel times.

There will be a one-off increase of 50 cents for heavy vehicles and 25 cents for other motorists from July 2011, as the Government moves from manual tolls to an E-toll system across the Gateway and Logan motorways.

Manual tolls will be scrapped from July 1, with Treasurer Andrew Fraser claiming motorists will save an extra 10 minutes in travel time on the motorways.

"Under free-flow tolling, cash lanes and toll booths on the Gateway and Logan motorways will be removed, providing an open motorway where tolls are automatically calculated as motorists drive under tolling gantries," Fraser says.

Fraser claims the Government has had to increase toll charges due its investment in changing over to a free-flow system.

"We anticipate that the toll for cars on the Gateway Bridge, allowing for a realistic average annual CPI increase of between 3.5 and 4 per cent, to be between $3.55 and $3.60 in July 2011," Fraser says.

However, the Government will issue free transponders and exclude any minimum usage charges.

Fraser says the Government chose a one-off increase instead of issuing ongoing minimum charges or deposits for transponders.

He says the increase is only to meet costs, adding Queensland Motorways will not profit from the new system.

But those who decide against a transponder will pay an extra 40 cents under video tolling, which will film a vehicle’s registration if it goes through a toll without a transponder.

The Government says the extra expense is to cover the cost of video processing.

The transponders can be used on all toll roads across Australia, including future toll roads planned for Brisbane such as the Clem7 tunnel, Hale Street Link and Airport Link.

The Government previously planned to introduce free-flow tolling in 2011.

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