News State Victoria Melbourne motorists hand over $2 million a day in CityLink tolls
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Melbourne motorists hand over $2 million a day in CityLink tolls

citylink transurban tolls
Transurban earned $780 million from CityLink tolls last financial year. Photo: Getty
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Melbourne motorists handed over $2.14 million in tolls every day on CityLink, travelling from the north, east and southeast.

Transurban on Tuesday revealed it earned a record $803 million from CityLink in the year to June, $780 million of which came from tolls.

It marks a 13.4 per cent surge in toll revenue.

Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton said the main contributor was the CityLink widening, which increased high-toll-paying heavy freight vehicle traffic by 8.7 per cent in the June quarter.

Car traffic increased 3.7 per cent in the same quarter.

But the average daily number of trips for the year only increased 1.4 per cent to 828,000 journeys a day, with CityLink affected by construction.

The CityLink widening and Monash Freeway upgrade projects were both delivered on time, the 2017-18 financial report to ASX said.

“Now that the CityLink Tulla Widening and Monash Freeway Upgrade projects are complete, customers are benefiting from additional capacity and quicker travel times,” Mr Charlton said.

“In addition the West Gate Tunnel Project is progressing well and we welcome the certainty the planning scheme amendment provides.”

Transurban is constructing the West Gate Tunnel, with 2000 workers currently delivering the project.

Transurban also earned $116 million from its 62.5 per cent stake in the Logan Motorway, where total tolls paid was $185 million.

The toll giant owns 100 per cent of CityLink.

Shadow Roads Minister David Hodgett said motorists were paying higher tolls because of “backroom deals” by Premier Daniel Andrews.

“Motorists in the northern, eastern and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne will be angry … to learn that Transurban has recorded profits off the back of their grubby deal with Daniel Andrews to put more tolls on motorists using the Monash and Tullamarine.”

Greens transport spokesperson Sam Hibbins said the revenue showed the West Gate Tunnel project would deliver for Transurban before the community.

“Transurban is making billions from tolling Victorian drivers and the Victorian government wants to extend them for another 10 years to help pay for the West Gate Tunnel,” Mr Hibbins said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Melbourne is growing. We need a well thought out, integrated public transport system that gets people where they need to go quickly and efficiently. That’s how we will reduce congestion, not with more privately built roads.”

Transurban, which also operates in New South Wales, Queensland and the United States and Canada, doubled its annual net profit to $485 million.

Total toll revenue grew to $2.34 billion, an increase of 8.7 per cent.

Large vehicle traffic in Sydney lifted toll revenue by 8.3 per cent, while in Brisbane toll revenue lifted 2.1 per cent.

In July, the toll road giant led a consortium bidding for 51 per cent of the WestConnex motorway in Sydney being sold by the NSW government.

But Transurban is still waiting on regulatory clearance from the competition watchdog, over concerns it could stymie competition in the sector. The company already runs seven of the nine toll roads in NSW.

Transurban says its forecast distribution guidance of 59 cents per share for 2018-19 won’t be affected if the bid for the Sydney motorway is successful.

The company declared a total final distribution and dividend of 28 cents.

Shares in the company were up six cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $11.96 at 1409 AEST.

-with AAP

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