Tolls and fines up, road spending down
Barry O'Farrell's budget is bad news for motorists - with road tolls and speeding fines going up, but spending on roads cut by $400 million, said Shadow Minister for Roads, Robert Furolo.
"Before the election Barry O'Farrell promised no new tolls on existing roads and no new speed cameras but today's budget tells a very different story," said Mr Furolo.
"The budget papers confirm that the Premier is now seriously considering the introduction of 'road pricing' – code for a congestion toll - that would apply across the orbital network, costing motorists up to $25 to travel to the city each day.
"This means motorists travelling on the M5, M4, M2 and other existing roads will be slugged with higher tolls in a slap in the face from the O'Farrell Government.
"This colossal broken promise comes on top of the Premier's decision to roll out 148 new speed cameras and increase fines by 12.5 per cent – gouging an extra $180 million from NSW motorists."
Mr Furolo said the huge hikes to basics like tolls and fines have not even been matched with an increase in spending.
"The O'Farrell Government has actually cut road spending by $400 million in today's budget – down from $5.4 billion last year to $5 billion this year," said Mr Furolo.
"There is no commitment in the budget to fund major election promises like the M4 East or M5 duplication and the Government has once again failed to match Federal funding to complete the Pacific Highway.
"The $400 million in cuts includes less money for new roads, cuts to road maintenance and no new money for road safety programs.
"The Premier and Minister for Roads deserve an 'F' for this shameful effort which sees motorists paying more but receiving nothing in return.
"Western Sydney motorists have been hardest hit by the spending cuts, with funding for Western Sydney roads going backwards.
"In 2010/11, the NSW Government spent $543 million on roads for western Sydney – but today that budget has been slashed to a meagre $351 million."
ROADS BUDGET BROKEN PROMISES
"Our plans for Sydney's roads do not involve making anyone pay any more on any road; that includes roads that are currently tolled." – Andrew Stoner 11 October 2010
"I can't envision a situation where we would have more [speed cameras]." – Barry O'Farrell, ABC News, 7 April 2011.
"I want to be seen as the infrastructure Premier" – Media conference 27 December 2010
"We don't see drivers as cash cows." – Andrew Stoner, 1 November 2010
"The Liberals and Nationals believe the way to improve road safety is not more and more speed cameras." – Andrew Stoner, 23 March 2011
Tags: Barry O'Farrell, budget, road safety, roads, Robert Furolo, speed cameras, sydney, tolls