Caravanners get toll relief, but only if they live in NSW

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grey nomads and NSW tolls
Spot the difference ... should all these vehicles pay the same toll?

After a massive backlash against the ‘streamlining’ of a toll system which saw caravans and motorhomes being charged the same as heavy vehicles on some Sydney roads, the New South Wales Government has been forced to back down … sort of.

When the changes implemented by toll operator, Transurban, were introduced, it sparked a storm of protest.

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

Vehicles more than 12.5 metres in length or more than 2.8 metres in height were suddenly categorised as Class B vehicles. It effectively meant that some grey nomads were being charged three times what they had previously been for taking the same road.

Following an avalanche of complaints from grey nomads, Transurban introduced – and then extended – a grace period for travellers ‘caught out’ by the vehicle classification change.

However, Transport for NSW appeared unmoved. Late last year, a spokesperson told the Grey Nomads: “The NSW Government is not planning to change vehicle classification dimensions …. alternative tollfree routes remain available for motorists who would prefer not pay a toll.”

However, the pressure eventually paid off. The NSW Government has just announced that NSW residents who tow caravans on Sydney’s toll roads will be eligible for a rebate.

Claimants will need to register with Transport for NSW, submit a claim through their toll retailer’s online portal, and the $14 per trip refund will be deposited into a bank account.

NSW Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said regional and domestic holidays were going to play a pivotal part in the state’s economic recovery and he was keen to remove the ‘barrier’ to travel.

“I was disappointed to learn drivers towing caravans and other trailers were slugged the same toll as a B-double,” he said. “This scheme is about directly addressing the concerns of those drivers and making sure it remains affordable for them to get around Sydney.”

However, it seems as though grey nomad caravanners from out of state, and those driving motorhomes, will still be significantly out of pocket.

A spokesperson for the NSW Transport Minister, wouldn’t be drawn on whether there was any prospect of the rebate ever be extended to cover interstate travellers.

“Most of the affected drivers are NSW residents and, for those that aren’t, a toll-free option is always available,” she told the GNT.

Unsurprisingly, some grey nomads aren’t impressed. Queenslanders Ian and Tracy Ninness recently paid more than $95 to tow their van on roads around Sydney.

“I heard that rebates were being paid to caravanners but, when I got on to the website, I found it was only for NSW-registered vehicles,” said Ian. “I am over this … in Queensland tolls range from $2 to $4.50 for a tug and caravan.”

And he has vowed that he has had his last trip near Sydney.

“Tracy wants to holiday for a few weeks at Jervis Bay but unless I can get there without paying those tolls, we will not be going,” he said. “These toll prices are outrageous.”

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6 Responses to Caravanners get toll relief, but only if they live in NSW

  1. Ned Kelly was a gentleman compared to Transurban.

  2. Another place that we will NOT be going to, was going for a holiday up the East coast, but no longer, what a rip of

  3. Just one more reason to avoid NSW.

  4. Money hungry state borders are a joke.

  5. What a joke, should be the same for all caravans. No wonder people get cheesed off.

  6. Just avoid the toll roads. There must be many other roads that can get you to where you want to go. NSW has so many beautiful places to visit without using a toll road – it would be a pity to miss out on these when a detour might just get you into some unexpected interesting areas that you hadn’t thought of.

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