‘Congestion charge’ would cut Sydney traffic

‘Congestion charge’ would cut Sydney traffic


A new survey has found many motorists would use public transport to get to and from work if they were charged to drive on major roads during peak times in the New South Wales state capital, Sydney.

The University of Sydney survey suggests a five cent a kilometre “congestion charge” on major roads at peak hour would shift 13 per cent of commuters to public transport.

Road pricing would also cause 22 per cent of commuters to drive outside the peak periods of 7am-9am and 4.30pm-6.30pm, it said.

The director of Sydney University’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, Professor David Hensher, said the survey showed road pricing would ease congestion on major roads.

“It’s not true to say that anyone who travels in the peak has no option but to travel in the peak, it’s just not true,” Professor Hensher said.

“If we can do something in sorting out the peak through pricing then enough people would exercise the choice to make a difference to traffic.”

He said charging motorists five cents for every kilometre they drove at peak times would remove enough traffic to make a big difference.

“Five cents is also an attractive revenue source to spend on improving public transport,” Professor Hensher added.

The survey of 1000 adults in March found 50 per cent of respondents drove to work during peak periods at least one day a week.

Sixty-six per cent of peak-hour drivers said they had no flexibility in selecting the time they commuted but 34 per cent said they had “plenty of flexibility”.