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Prime Mover Magazine

Australians prepared to adopt new pricing regime to reduce congestion

A majority of Australians support replacing existing road usage charges with a system more directly linked to the distance and time of day they travel, according to a University of Sydney Business School survey.

The quarterly Transport Opinion Survey conducted by the Business School’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) found that seven out of ten Australians support the replacement of existing fuel excises with a charge based on distance driven.

Six in ten people surveyed said they would be willing to pay five cents for every kilometre they drive in capital cities during the weekday peak periods in return for removal of registration fees.

However, the strong public support for a new charging system is provided on condition that there is no increase in the total amount paid by travellers.

An end to registration fees was supported by 70 per cent of Victorians while the number was 63 per cent in Queensland and South Australia and 55 per cent in New South Wales.

Director of the ITLS, David Hensher, said there was clearly a strong desire in the community for something to be done about the cost of road use and the growing amount of traffic congestion in our cities.

“The findings suggest that governments will win voter backing for any move away from fixed charges such as registration fees, in favour of a distance-based peak period charge that will reduce traffic congestion while not increasing the cost of motoring,” Prof. Hensher said.

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