Instruction for truckies to stay off toll roads proof of cost crisis: TWU

Anton NilssonNCA NewsWire
Toll instructed truckies to stay off toll roads, according to the memo. NCA NewsWire / David Swift
Camera IconToll instructed truckies to stay off toll roads, according to the memo. NCA NewsWire / David Swift Credit: News Corp Australia

Australia’s biggest freight company has told its drivers not to use toll roads because they’re too expensive, according to a memo supplied by a union.

The Transport Workers Union said the instruction was proof the cost of toll roads had caused a “crisis”.

The TWU presented the memo from freight firm Toll Group to a NSW parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday.

“We thank you for your co-operation in reducing toll road use,” the memo read, which was sent from Toll to workers at a Woolworths warehouse in western Sydney.

“This is a reminder to ensure you are not using toll roads unless you have authorisation to do so.

“In most cases, the cost of the toll roads outweighs any benefit we receive from using them.”

SEMI TRUCK STOCK
Camera IconToll instructed truckies to stay off toll roads, according to the memo. NCA NewsWire / David Swift Credit: News Corp Australia

The memo was dated May 2021.

TWU’s state secretary for NSW Richard Olsen said in a statement the document was proof Sydney’s toll roads had reached a “crisis point”.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re an owner-driver trying to run a small business, or a massive multinational company like Toll Group, Sydney’s toll roads are simply too expensive,” Mr Olsen said.

“Quarter after quarter of compounding increases in tolls are just making the burden on the transport industry more and more severe – and now drivers are increasingly being left with no choice but to boycott toll roads, which means more trucks on suburban streets.”

TWU chief legal officer Gavin Webb told the parliamentary hearing that in theory, truckies who ignored the Toll Group memo and drove on toll roads could face disciplinary action.

STARTRACK STRIKE
Camera IconTWU state secretary for NSW Richard Olson said toll roads have reached a “crisis point”. NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw Credit: News Corp Australia

“They could get written warnings, there could be a breach of their contract if they’re contractors, and so if they continue to do so they could be terminated from their job,” Mr Webb said.

However, Toll Group told NCA NewsWire it did not have a policy to avoid using road tolls.

“We regularly undertake route optimisation reviews where we use data from previous trips to determine the quickest and most cost-efficient route for our drivers,” a spokeswoman said.

“Toll uses a mix of public and private toll roads to maximise time and cost efficiencies.”

Originally published as Instruction for truckies to stay off toll roads proof of cost crisis: TWU

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