Toll dodgers are making Bexley a "living hell"

Toll chaos: Business owners on Forest Road, Bexley are experiencing jammed traffic conditions due to drivers dodging new tolls on the M8 and M5. Picture: Chris Lane
Toll chaos: Business owners on Forest Road, Bexley are experiencing jammed traffic conditions due to drivers dodging new tolls on the M8 and M5. Picture: Chris Lane

M8 and M5 tunnel toll dodgers are jamming Bexley's local roads and making life a "living hell" for residents and business owners.

Bexley Chamber of Commerce president Jeff Tullock described the situation as "atrocious" with traffic often backed up at least half-a-kilometre from the intersection of Stoney Creek and Forest Roads.

"M8 and M5 toll dodgers have returned traffic along Stoney Creek and Forest Roads Bexley to pre M5 tunnel days," Mr Tullock said.

"This situation needs to be urgently reviewed for the sanity of residents and businesses along these roads.

"When I moved to Bexley in 1985 our Town Centre was a convenient and pleasant place to visit and shop.

"Gradually, as Port Botany expanded, traffic volumes in our centre grew unbearably with high noise levels, vibration, fumes and diesel particulate everywhere.

"When the original M5 tunnel opened in 2001 it was like a breath of fresh air. Traffic volume returned to more tolerable levels and right hand turns onto our main streets were easy.

"On opening of the M8, motorists dodging tolls have returned our main streets of Stoney Creek and Forest Roads to pre 2001 conditions.

"We were told that "WestConnex is taking thousands of cars and trucks off our local roads every day improving the quality of our lives" and "It will ease local road congestion, helping to return these streets to the community".

"By the imposition of excessive tolls on the new M8 and existing M5 tunnels, toll dodgers are jamming our local roads, making life a living hell for residents and business owners and destroying business viability and property values.

"The current situation makes a mockery of the WestConnex promise.

"To make the situation worse in February of this year additional clearway and no stopping zone restrictions made our Town centre even more attractive for motorway toll dodgers.

"It beggars belief that the NSW state government who currently owns half of WestConnex, benefiting from tolls, has encouraged people not to use it by setting tolls too high and making alternative routes more attractive."

Mr Tullock added that the tolls are out of reach of average Mums and Dads.

"The government owns half of WestConnex. They have an interest in making it financially viable. But they have made the tolls so out of reach for average mums and das, that they, the government, are losing out

"The tolls discourage people from using the M8 and M5 and at the same time are clogging up suburban roads with drivers trying to find an alternate road."

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