Streamlined system takes its toll on grey nomads

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Toll changes affect grey nomads with caravans
Spot the difference ... should all these vehicles pay the same toll?

Grey nomads have been left counting the cost after a major toll operator moved to streamline its charging system.

Transurban – which has investments in major Sydney routes such as the M2, M7, M5, the Lane Cove Tunnel, and the Eastern Distributor – has consolidated its classification settings across all of its roads.

It’s meant changes to roadside tolling systems that have impacted the way some customers are charged for toll road travel in Sydney. Vehicles more than 12.5 metres in length or more than 2.8 metres in height will now always be classed as Class B vehicles.

A Transurban spokesperson said the changes would create greater consistency across Sydney’s motorway network.

“This means all vehicles are uniformly classified based on the total height or length of the vehicle and its connected load,” said the spokesperson. “Previously, that same vehicle would be classified differently on different roads.”

However, what amounts to a massive price hike for some caravanners on some roads has not gone down well in all quarters. Grey nomad Dennis Frankcombe labelled the move a ‘gross injustice’.

“On my trip through Sydney travelling north in June this year I was charged $12 for my car and caravan, on my return trip in September I was charged $35 … a threefold increase,” he said. “This determination is most unfair to caravan owners if they are grouped with Class B vehicles, the 2.8 metre high limit would capture most caravans.”

Mr Frankcombe says he believes the heavy commercial vehicle class was meant to capture the large semi-trailers and B-doubles which have a massive impact on the road due to the 40 or so tonnes of load.

“In comparison, the average car and caravan combination is less than five tonnes, which would do much less damage to the roads,” he said. “With the expected opening of the North Connex who knows what a trip through Sydney and return will cost caravan owners travelling north and returning …. maybe $130 or more?”

He says he would like to see the decision reviewed and an Intermediate Class for small trucks, vans, and caravans potentially introduced. However, there is no indication that this will be considered. Instead, caravanners travelling on a budget may be forced to re-think their itineraries, perhaps plotting different routes altogether to avoid the tolls.

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34 Responses to Streamlined system takes its toll on grey nomads

  1. so does this mean that you are having to get a B class drivers liscence?

    • That is probably what will come next Ann!

  2. They know there’s money to be made from all the extra caravans on the road.

    • Spot on they will never change, this place is just a major rip off, because they get away with it. terry

  3. We have always paid the price off a light trucks when we use our toll roads just driving our utes in Victoria.
    as here we Just plan our trip around the tolls in every state as we will in march when we head off for 3 months up north

  4. The weight of a caravan is no where near that of a laden truck.
    At most the weight and length is close to a large car.
    So why not make it double the cost to the car.
    You are overcharging and that it’s self should go to the ACCC.

    • Totally agree with you Stephen. It’s always about the money they can bring in.

  5. We no longer use the M7 and M2 in Sydney. After paying ~$12 in my car I hadn’t even factored that a motorhome would cost more as it is still a Class 1 licence. Wow when I received my eToll statement to see$35 per trip. No way will I be paying that so now I go the Cumberland Highway (Ring road 7). Sure it costs a little more in fuel and time but I’m still $30+ better off each way and if I travel at off peak times the traffic isn’t too bad. Unfortunately simplifying and reclassifying is code for a price increase. Grey Nomads have a lot more time than money so I’m happy to take the ‘scenic’ route.

  6. Is there any government oversight? These roads are public roads and in my view there should not be excessive fees. Public roads should never be a profit making enterprise for some company. Rather fees charged should cover build and maintenance costs only.

  7. We avoid cities and tolls completely unless there is no other way

  8. It is a 4WD or car with a caravan, not a commercial vehicle, I will also avoid the M7 if they are going to charge $35 greedy toll company

  9. I sent a query to the Govt about this before last NSW election. They couldnt care less, said it was my choice to use or not to use the tollways and there was always an alternate road.

  10. While most Grey Nomads will travel through New South Wales, only people who are locals voting in the state election can have any impact on this ridiculous situation. So over to you New South Welshman. Ask your local candidates what their position on this is.

  11. So if we pay the truck tolls we can now park in the truck stops and bays. Thankyou NSW Government. This is good news for free camping opportunities.

  12. I towed our van through the M7 and M2 a week ago and, due to this notification, I checked my trips on Linkt and YES for those 2 tolls it cost $36. I normally pay about $10. What can be done for a re-assessment of these ridiculous fee increases? Other than avoid the Motorways!

  13. Perhaps before Transurban tries this same trick in Vict and Qld, the sydney grey nomads could organise a convoy protest through the Pennant Hills road on a Saturday morning, instead of the new tunnel, and get some media coverage.

    • The best suggestion yet – we have the time. Works for the French with their tractor convoy protests. Slow, slow, brake, slow, slow.

  14. Well, we will just bypass the whole area, Sydney and surrounds. Our tourist dollar can be better spent elsewhere, where it is needed and wanted.

  15. I receive a monthly statement from NSW Roads & Maritime Services. I have just now checked my statement for September and a regular return trip on the M7 is now $49.14 and in June it cost $16.38. This increase is exactly 300%, yes THREE HUNDRED PERCENT!
    My tag is a RTA/RMS issued and billed, so why haven’t I been informed about this increase?
    If I had read this news here, I still wouldn’t know!

  16. It’s a bloody joke not only caravans I get hammered with truck tolls just to get me boat to the ramp to go fishing

  17. My motor home hilux was charged as a commercial vehicle going through the tolls. What a joke Sydney

    • Mine too Sue. But after the first time, I now don’t use them, and all because my Hilux is 3.2 high with the air con on top. It is a joke.

  18. If we are now classed as trucks now I will be using truck parking areas and see how they go in court we cant be classed as trucks in one juristiction and not another

  19. If we all use the Cumberland Highway that will create havoc especially if we do it in peak hour morning and afternoon. Maybe the government will take notice. Sure we get free rego but this is just highway robbery pardon the pun. So Gladys start paying attention or you will be voted out come next election.

  20. Please don’t park in the truck bays as these guys are working and don’t have anything to do with the tolls. Visit S.A as we don’t have toll roads.if you can bypass Sydney altogether

  21. I reckon the recent 300% toll increase by Transurban for us caravaners on the M2 & M7 is unlawful, as toll charges and increases were set under Concession Deeds with the NSW Government. Hopefully the ACCC can take up the case! Just found out I too was stung by the massive increase when returning home a few weeks ago. If it didn’t come straight out of my toll account I certainly wouldn’t be paying it!

  22. We by passed Sydney on the way south a few weeks ago. We will not be going near Sydney or it’s close in areas in future. Our dollars will be spent in the inter land areas that still appreciate our custom.

  23. I am equally unimpressed by Transurban’s decision in the matter and find it grossly unfair, particular given the caravan’s are, in the main, owned by senior Australians. I have submitted a complaint to the ACCC and suggest that others do the same.

  24. I suggest you might support this petition:

  25. my car and caravan is under the 12.5 mt length and the 2.5 mt height as stated on the web site but i still got stung on the M% in Sep. Have tried to argue but have still not received a refund

    • The RMS specifications say that the height of the vehicle from the ground is measured to the top of the BODY of the vehicle and small protruberences are to be ignored. Is an Aircon considered a Small protuberance when it is the only thing that is breaks the height limit? It would seem that it is if your van is only 2.5 high. Maybe that could be argued. It’s in the design specs from the RTA.

  26. I’m travelling from Brisbane to Canberra in February with a van that will be a lass B, not happy with the new tolls have you got a recommended route to avoid the tolls

  27. I travel to gold coast from melb. once a year. for the past 2 yrs. Likt has sent me a fine for travelling on toll road even though I have a 30 day pass.Took 12 emails the first year but last year I just gave up in the end and paid it. My-be this year I’ll just travel on there roads and pay fine when they arrive.

  28. Just wait until the Pennant Hills Road is bypassed $35 will be nothing. $12 was a reasonable amount $35 is gouging

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