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‘Completely unfair’: New fee for NSW commuters

New fee for NSW commuters. Source: Getty

Sydney commuters travelling on the M5 East are weeks away from paying up to $6.95 for travelling on the road, which is currently free to use.

Drivers on the M5 East between King Georges Road and the Eastern Distributor will soon be slugged between $3.05 and $6.95, depending on the length of their trip, in a fee NSW Labor members have dubbed “completely unfair”.

“If you’re travelling the road on a daily basis, that’s more than $3,000 a year,” said NSW opposition leader Jodi McKay. 

"Putting a toll on this road, a road that isn't new, is completely unfair to the people of south-western Sydney.”

The opposition has called for a toll-free ‘holiday’ period on the road for the duration of the pandemic.

“This comes at a time in recession, it comes at a time when people can least afford to pay a toll,” McKay added.

NSW Roads Minister Andrew Constance said the money collected would be invested back into other infrastructure, and that motorists had the option to choose alternative routes that are toll-free.

The toll introduction will coincide with the opening of the new M8, which is touted to open in the coming weeks.

Transurban said the M8 would help reduce congestion on the M5 East.

“When the M8 opens, we expect the driving experience on the M5 East will dramatically improve, with travel time savings of around 30 minutes during peak hour (taking either the M5 East or M8), less congestion and a safer, smoother journey," the company told ABC.

"The introduction of the toll reflects the travel time savings we anticipate motorists will experience, along with the smoother, safer and more efficient journey."

The NSW Labor leader tweeted on Thursday the party would be “campaigning against this big new toll on the same old road”.

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