Bayside Council is calling on the State Government to release the findings of their study into the impact of the M5 East and M8 tolls on toll avoidance and traffic volumes on local roads.
The NSW Government is currently undertaking a Network Performance Review of the M8 following its opening almost two years ago.
"It is imperative that Council continues to raise the concerns of the community and seek action to address the devastating impact of trucks and cars using surface roads to avoid paying excessive tolls," Bayside mayor, Dr Christina Curry said in a Mayoral Minute at the June 22 meeting of council.
"Council has made repeated requests for various Ministers to visit the area and witness first hand the impacts on Forest Road and Stoney creek Road," Cr Curry said.
"These requests have been consistently ignored. Disappointingly, the current review does not include asking the community about how it has been impacted by the opening of the M8 and the introduction of a new toll on the M5 East.
"Chris Minns, Member for Kogarah, has stepped in to give the community a voice by organising a community meeting at Bexley RSL on Sunday, 26th of June at 12 pm (noon).
"I will be attending and I encourage all Councillors and concerned members of the community to come along and have your say."
A Bayside Council officer recently told the NSW Government Portfolio Committee enquiring into road tolling regimes that thousands of trucks are refusing to pay the $22.56 M5 toll to save six minutes and are instead driving through Bayside surface roads causing serious amenity and safety impacts.
The number of heavy vehicles on Harrow Road has increased 430 per cent in the last six years, the review was told.
Cr Curry said that the outcome of the Network Performance Review should include options to ensure that heavy vehicles use the M5 East and M8, as was intended.
"I am calling on Councillors and the community to join me in continuing to fight for a better outcome for our Bayside residents who suffer the noise and safety concerns caused by these trucks 24/7," she said.
The council will write to the Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward, expressing its increasing concern about the impact of the M5 East toll avoidance on local residents and businesses along Stoney Creek Road and Forest Road.
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