I apologise for being the bearer of bad news. But starting tomorrow, it’s about to get a whole lot more expensive to drive in Sydney.
Specifically, tomorrow is when tolls return to the M4 Motorway. With the completion of the widening of the M4 and thus the first stage of Sydney’s gargantuan WestConnex project, distance-based tolls are coming back to a section of the motorway, between Homebush Bay Drive in the east and James Ruse Drive in the west.
And as documented in the table below, it’s now going to cost you a buttload. For a return trip covering the whole distance in a car or motorbike, you are set to pay $9.12 a day, or $4.56 one-way. That equals up to $45.60 a working week, excluding weekend travel. To drive on the exact same road that used to be free.
While the official website says that the M4 will remain free from James Ruse Drive onwards, it’s little compensation for what will be a huge slog on most motorists who regularly commute to and from western Sydney.
Speaking to the media earlier today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that if drivers aren’t happy about the reintroduction of the toll, they should “vote with their cars”.
“We’ll see how many people continue to use the new piece of infrastructure. Because I know that most people would rather spend that time with their families or doing what they want to do, rather than sitting in a car park.”
However, yesterday Labor’s Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay lashed out at the new tolls, calling it a “tax on Western Sydney”.
In any case, people are trying to get in on the last toll free day while they still can.
Ahhh T-Day tomorrow! The day the bloody M4 toll starts charging #sadface
— Peter Lim (@ThePeterLim) August 13, 2017
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need a valid E-Tag or E-Pass to travel on the M4 from tomorrow. So there’s that.