THE NSW Transport Minister, David Campbell, was yesterday caught out not knowing the price of the toll on the M2 despite revealing a significant toll increase for motorists to pay for an upgrade of the motorway.Motorists face paying almost $5.50 to travel one-way on Sydney’s north-west motorway after the Government approved a toll increase of about 8 per cent to cover the cost of upgrades.FULL TRANSPORT COVERAGEHowever, Mr Campbell, who also has the roads portfolio, was left red-faced when he revealed that drivers would have to pay between 30 cents and 50 cents extra once the M2 was widened to three lanes. But he could not answer questions about the current toll, which is $4.95 one-way.Chris Lynch, the chief executive of Transurban, which operates the M2, was forced to step in and answer on behalf Mr Campbell’s behalf.The $550 million project, which includes tunnel widening and additional on and off ramps, will be paid for by Transurban, but on its completion the bill will be passed on to motorists.The agreement also extends Transurban’s contract to operate the M2 by four years to 2046.Mr Campbell said the M2 would have a higher speed limit of 100 km/h, which would improve traffic flow.”This project is about improving capacity, reducing congestion and through that, providing a better run into the city. To fund a project like this it has to be paid for, and the arrangements are that this is a toll road.”The Opposition Leader, Barry O’Farrell, said it should not have taken the State Government nearly three years to approve the proposal, first announced in January 2007.”The delays and dithering of Labor mean commuters in north-western Sydney are forced to sit longer in traffic jams without effective public transport alternatives.”The project was welcomed by the NRMA, but it warned that the congested M2 should serve as a warning to the Government about the need to better plan for future population growth.The Tourism and Transport Forum said the project would improve traffic flow for motorists and public transport.
Nanjing Night Net

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