Yep, the rumours are true – tolls for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel will increase next month for the first time in more than 14 years. Buckle up and we'll steer you through the answers to your questions.
How much are the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel tolls rising by?
The NSW government will lift Bridge and Tunnel tolls by 6.8 per cent. The last time the Bridge and Tunnel tolls were increased was in 2009, when they were set at $4 during peak times, $3 for off-peak and $2.50 at night. They’ll increase to $4.27 in peak, $3.20 off peak and $2.67 at night.
When are the Sydney Harbour Bridge tolls rising?
You’ll pay the higher rate from October 29, 2023.
Why are the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel tolls rising?
“The NSW Government believes it is appropriate for these tolls to be adjusted higher at a time when we are focused on providing greater equity across the toll road network, no matter what your postcode,” said NSW Minister for Roads John Graham.
“Drivers in Western Sydney who have little choice but to use motorways for their commute and family travel have endured annual – and in many cases quarterly – toll increases since 2009 while the Bridge and Tunnel tolls remained fixed.”
The Minister is referencing the fact that tolls on other roads (the M2, M4, M5, M5 East, the M7, M8, the Cross City Tunnel, the Lane Cove Tunnel, the North Connex and the Eastern Distributor) are owned by private owners, who have regularly increased tolls.
This leads us to one bit of good news…
The NSW government has introduced a weekly road toll cap for Sydney drivers:
Due to the rising costs of toll increases by private owners of other roads for Sydney motorists, the NSW Government last week announced a $60 per week road toll cap.
Extra revenue collected from the Harbour Bridge and Tunnel tolls will go towards the Government’s toll relief budget package worth $561 million over two years for 720,000 drivers.
The toll cap is designed to deliver most relief to people who live in Sydney’s west, who have been hit hardest by what the government refers to as “toll mania” and don’t have access to as many public transport options.
“Toll revenue is helping us target toll relief to where it is needed most, with suburbs like Kellyville, Silverwater, Blacktown, Quakers Hill, Rosehill and Gosford among those where the most motorists will claim cash back of an average of up to $540 a year. All extra revenue will be used to this end.”
When is the NSW/Sydney weekly road toll cap starting?
The toll relief is beginning on January 1, 2023.
How will people claim road tolls above the cap?
Motorists will be able to claim back any toll spending above the $60 a week cap via a quarterly refund from Service NSW.
So to head north you’ll pay a bit more, but if you’re a regular driver on other toll roads, you’ll get some relief.