ABOLISH TOLL: An Ipswich-based campaign is gathering pace to get the Logan Motorway tolls abolished by 2020.
ABOLISH TOLL: An Ipswich-based campaign is gathering pace to get the Logan Motorway tolls abolished by 2020.

Why the $500K-a-day Logan Mwy toll must go

TOLLS on the Logan Motorway are costing commuters millions of dollars each year and Ipswich residents are backing a campaign to get the hit to their hip pockets abolished.

Deputy Mayor Paul Tully is ramping up the push to get the toll removed by 2020 and had thousands of hits and numerous comments on his own Facebook page from angry commuters agreeing with him when he spoke out against the toll.

Cr Tully said it was a burden on people economically and that it was unfair for Ipswich residents to still be forking out on a toll for a motorway that was completed in 1988 when other motorways were toll-free.

Transurban Queensland, formerly Queensland Motorways, operates and maintains the Logan Motorway.

Transurban figures for the September quarter show that there were 164,000 trips daily on the Logan Motorway with $45 million collected in tolls. That averages out at approximately $494,500 per day.

A Transport and Main Roads (TMR) spokesperson said "Transurban Queensland retains all associated toll revenue and the state receives no money from tolls".

But Cr Tully said the state government legislated on tolls and that the motorway was still a state-controlled road.

"Political pressure had the toll removed on the Sunshine Coast almost 30 years ago," he said.

"Now it is time the people of Ipswich and Logan City had the toll removed on the Logan Motorway as well.

"It is a major cost to many Ipswich workers and families who are unhappy they are forking out a small fortune on tolls each year.

"I would hope that both major parties would give a commitment to remove the toll by 2020.

"You don't pay a toll on the Ipswich and Pacific motorways."

"It is a major link between Ipswich and Logan and the Gold Coast and the tolls are forcing a lot of traffic on the side roads.

"Toll roads are inevitable but we shouldn't have to put up with them for over 30 years."

A TMR spokesperson said "a 40 year road franchise agreement (RFA) for the Gateway and Logan motorways was entered into between the State and Queensland Motorways Limited (now Transurban) on 23 March 2011, ending 2051".

Under the terms of the (RFA) with the state the spokesperson said. "Transurban Queensland is required to operate and maintain the Logan Motorway to the standards identified in the RFA, relieving the state of significant costs.

"In return, Transurban Queensland may charge motorists a toll for the use of the motorways."

Ipswich photographer David Nielsen, who lives in Brisbane, pays around $40 per week and $2000 per year on tolls when he travels the full length of the Logan Motorway from the Pacific Motorway to where it joins the Ipswich Motorway.

He said tolls were understandable to pay for initial infrastructure.

"But I think once the original infrastructure was paid for by the tolls that the Logan Motorway tolls should have been stopped," he said, while agreeing with Cr Tully.

"I don't think it is fair that people who happen to live (in Brisbane or Ipswich) get hit with a fee just because they have to drive to work."

The TMR spokesperson said that since initial construction, additional funding (from tolls) was required "to provide the motorway with significant upgrades to respond to growing demand" in a timely manner.

"Without tolling, these substantial upgrades to both the Gateway and Logan motorways could not have been provided until considerably further into the future.

The TMR spokesperson said tolling also provides for further upgrades like the recently announced $512 million Logan Motorway Enhancement Project (LEP).

The spokesperson said that without tolls "taxes may have had to be increased or introduced to fund infrastructure provision, maintenance and operation".

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