Transport for NSW deputy secretary Camilla Drover said the agency would need to undertake substantial traffic modeling to understand how a different tolling regime for the future Western Harbor Tunnel could impact the wider network.
Asked when the Western Harbor Tunnel would be completed, Mr Gardner cited a 2028 opening, though transport officials have previously suggested 2027.
A Transport for NSW spokeswoman on Monday said the project would take “around five years” to complete after final contracts are awarded. The last contract is expected to be awarded this year.
Opposition roads routes John Graham suggested that the current tolling regime in Sydney could result in motorists paying more than $100 billion from now until 2060, when the last of the concessions run out.
A treasury official warned Mr Graham it was “deeply flawed logic” to try to predict a revenue stream over a long period of time.
While tolling giant Transurban’s group executive Michele Huey said Labor’s methodology made sense “at a high level”, it was very difficult to put a true number on a decades-long forecast.
WestConnex chief executive Andrew Head pointed out that Labor’s assumptions of 2.5 per cent traffic growth were also optimistic.
“Two and a half per cent traffic growth rate would be a fairly strong rate of growth. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but that’s context for you to consider,” Mr Head said.
Most of Sydney’s tolls increase by 4 per cent per year or at the rate of inflation, whichever is higher.
Weekday tolls on southbound trips on the Harbor Bridge and tunnel range from $2.50 to $4 depending on the time of day.
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