In June, we asked the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, why ute drivers who register for toll accounts in New South Wales pay passenger rates on toll roads throughout the country, including Victoria, while ute drivers using toll accounts in Victoria pay the same rates as a commercial vehicle.
The Ministers Response:
The vehicle classification system used on Victorian toll roads was introduced in 1995, when the State Government entered into contractual arrangements with Transurban for CityLink. The same system was then used for EastLink in 2004, was adopted for the West Gate Tunnel Project in 2017 and is intended to be used for the North East Link Project.
Under the vehicle classification system used on Victorian toll roads, the toll road operators are entitled to charge lower tolls for vehicles classified as Cars, higher tolls for vehicles classified as Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) and highest tolls for vehicles classified as Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs). An LCV is defined as a vehicle with a cab‐chassis construction (i.e. utes) with a mass of between 1.5 and 4.5 tonnes, whereas Cars are vehicles with a mass of less than 4.5 tonnes without a cab‐chassis construction. LCV tolls are 60% more expensive than Car tolls.
The Victorian toll road vehicle classification system applies to all vehicles travelling on Victorian toll roads, including those registered for toll accounts in New South Wales. Specifically, utility vehicles with a mass of between 1.5 and 4.5 tonnes registered for toll accounts in New South Wales are still liable for LCV tolls on Victorian toll roads.
The Victorian Toll Road operators use various processes to check the classification of vehicles registered for toll accounts in New South Wales and there have been occasions where vehicles that should have been classified as LCVs have been incorrectly classified as Cars and thus benefitted from lower tolls. However, the Victorian toll road operators routinely review whether vehicles have been classified correctly and apply correct charges where errors are detected.
The Hon Ben Carroll MP