Toll inquiry a wasted opportunity: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has expressed frustration with the analysis and recommendations handed down following Queensland’s Toll Roads Inquiry, saying the exercise was a lost opportunity which failed to deliver real change to motorists.

Toll road signage

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the findings, while welcomed, didn’t deliver any substantial solutions to address congestion and inner-city network performance, nor do they recommend incentivising toll use.

“It’s time our inner-city toll roads lived up to their potential to alleviate congestion on the broader network, and the report should have included recommendations to increase patronage through incentives such as bundling and discounts,” Dr Michael said.

“Instead, the report accepts, without question, Transurban’s view that discounts are not an option in their financial model, and we’re disappointed the inquiry didn’t take a more rigorous approach to testing this issue.”

Dr Michael said the recommendation to install a Queensland-based ombudsman would help motorists through the complaints process.

“We support the Government sharing customers’ contact data with Transurban to notify them of toll fees as early as possible,” she said.

“Really though, these are administrative and operational recommendations that could have been identified in an audit process, at a fraction of the cost.”

Dr Michael said despite the disheartening outcome, RACQ would scrutinise any future toll road proposals to ensure they wouldn’t only benefit banks and shareholders to the detriment of Queensland motorists and the broader community.

“Transurban still has the chance to show that it’s a socially responsible operator of public assets,” Dr Michael said.

“We’d urge them to implement discounts and incentives to encourage the use of Brisbane’s inner-city toll routes, which would help drive down congestion.”