The Road Ahead : December 2012
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 67 DEC 2012/JAN 2013 THE ROAD AHEAD TOLL ROADS AUDIT MOTORING WHILE MOTORISTS WITH in-car tags can breeze through toll roads, payment could prove a real hassle for visitors and occasional users. An Australia-wide review of road toll signage found existing signs on Queensland's toll roads lacked clarity and robbed motorists of choice. RACQ's Executive Manager, Public Policy, Michael Roth said motorists were being forced to make snap decisions on whether to use the toll roads without being provided with the pricing information required to make an informed choice. "In contrast to toll roads in Sydney, every one of the five toll roads in Queensland lacks the pricing information motorists need to make an informed choice about whether to use the road," Mr Roth said. "Motorists are expected to weigh up whether the time they will save on a toll road is worth the money they will be charged without first being told the purchase price. "This is particularly important for visitors to Brisbane and other casual toll users who do not have a toll account." Mr Roth said signs at toll road entrances should clearly state the cost of the journey for passenger cars, given they make up 80 percent of toll road users. RACQ's Toll Road Review also recommended that permanent, fixed 'three days to pay' signs be erected on the Go Between Bridge, Gateway and Logan motorways and AirportlinkM7. "Clear information about how to pay the toll should be provided so motorists won't miss the deadline and incur late payment fines," Mr Roth said. Signage for the Go Between Bridge and AirportlinkM7 were rated as 'very poor' in advising casual users that they had a three-day payment window. Only the Clem7 was judged to have 'very good' signage, warning of three days to pay. Failure to pay within three days can attract significant additional costs. The RACQ's 2012 Toll Road Review assessed the quality of signage on toll roads across Australia, comparing signs on south-east Queensland toll roads to those in other states. An expert team from RACQ travelled on every toll road in Australia to assess the signs for: frequency and location; clarity and visibility; and provision of prices, payment conditions and contact details. "If we want to encourage more motorists to use the toll roads to ease congestion, the toll roads should be made as user-friendly as possible, with clear, visible signs that provide all the necessary information," Mr Roth said. Call for toll road operators in south-east Queensland to improve signage. motorists blind to toll road prices: RACQ STORY STEVE GRAY IMAGE: THE APPROACH TO THE GO BETWEEN BRIDGE IN BRISBANE.