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Axe tolls for motorbikes says petition

Logan Motorway

A petition seeking an exemption from motorway tolls for motorcycles and free parking on all footpaths has been posted on the Queensland Government’s e-petitions website.

Click here to sign the petition

The petition was drafted by rider David White who lodged an unsuccessful petition last year to review speed limits on Mt Glorious.

The speed petition failed because it required a politician or the Clerk of the Parliament to sponsor it yet three politicians knocked it back.

Since then, the laws have been changed and sponsorship is no longer required and e-petitions on the government’s website that gather more than 10,000 signatures must be debated in Parliament.

“I didn’t approach any MPs to sponsor this petition after what happened last time,” says David.

Motorway tolls traffic lane filtering
David White with his 2007 BMW R1200S

“I also note that a majority of the e-petitions that are currently open do not have MPs sponsoring them.

I am hoping we get over 10,000 signatures as the petition would have to be then debated in Parliament.

“So far, we had over 600 in the first 24 hours since the petition was posted on Motorcycle Advocacy Group Qld.”

In four days there are more than 700 signatures.

Previously, sponsored petitions were tabled in Parliament, posted on the official website and a formal response sent to the petitioner. Now, they will be debated on Thursdays when Parliament is sitting.

Traffic congestion reducedMotorway tolls traffic lane filtering

The new petition says that if motorcycles and scooters were exempt from road tolls and were allowed to park on footpaths in urban areas, traffic congestion would be eased and associated costs decreased.

“Exempting motorcycles and scooters from all road tolls in Queensland would provide a great financial incentive for more motorists to shift from cars to motorcycles and scooters when commuting,” the petition says.

David says the catalyst for the parking issue was the loss of hundreds of parks this year for the Casino redevelopment.

Council is gradually replacing those bays.

Brisbane CBD motorcycle parking spaces tolls
New CBD parks

No tolls

While David recognises that Queensland tollways are privately run, the tolls are approved by the government.

“There was early early resistance to tolls on motorcycles because of the low damage to the roads and the difficulty of tolling them,” David says.

“However, government made the decision that all vehicles had to pay tolls.

“Motorcycles don’t have sensors like cars; it goes on photo recognition of the number pate, so it’s probably a bit more expensive for them, so why not make it free? More motorcycles is a solution to traffic problems, so free tolls would pay for itself.

“There seems to be a general lack of acknowledgement from governments everywhere about the advantages of motorcycling.”

Melbourne roads lane filtering more often
Melbourne tollways

Motorcycles were exempt from tolls in Melbourne for 14 years until improved technology allowed them to be introduced in 2014. While no state offers exemptions, most tolls are about half that of a passenger car.

Here is the petition wording:

Queensland has good weather for riding, leads the way with single-seat registration available for motorcycles and lane filtering has been recently introduced.

Overseas research has shown that a 10% shift from cars to motorcycles and scooters can lead to a 40% reduction in congestion in some traffic scenarios. Motorcycles and scooters are considered to be congestion neutral in traffic due to their smaller size, ability to lane filter and accelerate quicker than cars.

A Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics study, “Traffic and congestion cost trends for Australian capital cities”, estimates congestion costs for Brisbane metropolitan road traffic rising from $2.3 to $5.9 billion (2015-2030).

Motorcycles and scooters can easily be parked on a majority of footpaths without impeding pedestrian traffic as is done in a great many cities around the world. This model is employed successfully in Melbourne.  Footpath parking provides more motorcycle parking without taking car spaces away from motorists.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to exempt motorcycles and scooters from all road tolls in Queensland and allow motorcycle and scooter parking on footpaths.

Click here to sign the petition

  1. Motorcycles in Sydney who also have an e-tag account have the option to pay a flat $90 for unlimited travel for 3 months – a dollar a day.

    This seems a reasonable compromise to me.

  2. Before the advent of e-tags and photo recognition you had to stop and fish out change for a toll, something I thought was totally stupid and probably deadly for a few riders. Tolls for bikes should never have been a thing.

  3. I find in Brisbane that toll roads are a waste of time or dangerous. Tunnels leave no safe exit option in an emergency, so I tend not to use them. Gateway bridge is both perilous with cage dwellers and wind sweeping over it at times. Most other toll roads can be easily avoided with filtering now making it timely to got the long way. If it were free, not sure I would use them anyway.

  4. Don’t forget encouraging bikes to use motorways will also reduce the use of unsafe, winding back roads. This might help make trips safer.

  5. You guys are talking logic , but with politics especially in Qld. logic does not apply.
    In this case you are proposing to reduce the income of both a private consortium and the government . Just how do you imagine you are going to overcome that bias?

  6. “a Belgian study found that when 10% of drivers swapped to a motorcycle, scooter or moped, congestion was reduced for all road users by 40%. When 25% swapped, it was eliminated. ”

    Obviously, it is in the best interest of all motorists that motorcycles pay no tolls.
    The cost will be zero – I’ve never seen a motorcycle in a tunnel during working hours when road congestion is at it’s peak.

  7. Exactly, same as Victoria is now – all states should be the same so there’s no confusion for interstate riders or overseas biker tourists – and we get plenty of those.

  8. To be the devils advocate, why would the privately owned toll roads be interested in reducing congestion and encouraging policy to a lower revenue base? (I understand you’re appealing to government to legislate not for govia to change their position). Also, more people riding = more motorcycle accidents where even minor incidents can have people layed up for days or weeks with further pressure on health services, insurers, work cover etc. I can’t see this being successfully argued if it got to parliament. The parking piece I think has merit though.

    1. More people riding = more visibility of vulnerable road users = more anticipation of same.

      As a cycle advocate I have seen the figures and studies where as numbers drop the danger to remaining users rises at a higher rate. As numbers rise, the danger reduces by a higher factor than the rise in participants. Think about it logically, the more you see of something, the more you will expect to see more of it. The less you see of something, the more you will put the likelihood of seeing it in the back of your mind. Fewer motorbike riders means people are less likely to consider them in decision making while driving.

      Having driven around Europe where bike and motorbike riders are prolific road users, you tend to be very observant for them as you are expecting them.

  9. I received the government response to the petition this week and as expected with this Labor government the response is to do nothing. Traffic congestion continues to worsen and even when a simple solution is put in their lap they can’t act.

    Let’s hope riders remember this when the next election comes around.

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