A 'Congestion Tax' Could Be Introduced For Brisbane Motorists

Idea would replace road tolls

13 February 2018

Article heading image for A 'Congestion Tax' Could Be Introduced For Brisbane Motorists

Toll fees could be scrapped across Brisbane in favour of a 'congestion charge', in a bid to reduce traffic on our busiest roads.

The state government is being urged to embrace new strategies to shore up infrastructure funding ahead of a federal review, with traditional methods like fuel excise and rego payments set to dry up over the next few years.

The Infrastructure Association of Queensland has suggested letting drivers travel for free on the underused Clem 7, Airport Link and Legacy Way, and instead create a CBD boundary where motorists would be charged a daily fee to travel through high-congestion areas.

London introduced their own boundary back in 2003, charging motorists £5 per day to drive a vehicle within the 'congestion zone' between 7:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. In 2017, that cost has risen to £11.50/day making the government more than £1 billion over the past 15 years.

Local research found that the traffic levels over the past decade dropped by 10.2 per cent, but journey times for drivers remained relatively flat.

AIQ Chair Terry Rossitto said it's something that has been on the agenda for quite some time.

"If you value the time you're spending in your car or on the bus and you want to see an improved system of travel and uncongested roads, it's worth discussing," he said.

"All we're really asking is for the government to have that open dialogue and public enquiry, it's certainly something that's worthwhile having a conversation about."

Motoring body RACQ have welcomed the idea and hope it could create a fairer way of charging in the future.

"There's two ways that could happen; one is with a congestion tax, the other way - which we think may be fairer system - is called 'road user charging'. It would be like a per-kilometre road tax," said spokesperson Paul Turner.

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