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Free motorcycle tolls and parking petition rejected

tolls motorway motorcycle tolls

An online petition to axe motorcycle tolls and allow unrestricted footpath parking has been rejected by the Queensland Government despite attracting more than 2200 signatures.

Petition organiser David White says scrapping scooter and motorcycle tolls and freeing up footpath parking would have sent clear signals that the government is serious about easing traffic congestion.

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

Motorcycle tolls

In his official reply to the petition, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says his government “recognises motorcycling as an important part of the transport system, and it also acknowledges that the use of motorcycles and scooters is becoming an increasingly popular means of commuting”.

RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding, Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey and MRAQ president Chris Mearns - learner riders tolls motorcycle tolls
Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey (centre) with RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding and MRAQ president Chris Mearns at a 2015 media event

“This increase has the potential for broader benefits, such as reducing road congestion and potentially lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

Yet he says the government is not considering dropping scooter and motorcycle tolls to encourage more riders.

He points out motorcyclists already pay a toll that is about half that of a car toll as is the case in other states.

(Motorcycles were exempt from tolls in Melbourne for 14 years until improved technology allowed them to be introduced in 2014.)

Melbourne roads lane filtering more often tolls motorcycle tolls
Melbourne tollways

David says he cannot understand the reasoning for rejecting the plea as it would encourage more two-wheelers and help reduce traffic congestion and emissions as the Minister acknowledges.

He says it could also save some on future congestion costs compared with existing costs.

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

“The scrapping of tolls for motorcycles and scooters would be an efficient and cost-effective way to encourage commuters to change from cars to motorcycles and scooters,” David says.

Footpath parking

Brisbane CBD motorcycle parking spaces tolls motorcycle tolls
Brisbane CBD parks

The Minister also points out that footpath parking is controlled by local councils and says Brisbane City Council has installed over 600 additional new motorcycle parking spaces on footpaths.

He neglected to say that the CBD lost about 140 spaces because of their casino redevelopment.

BCC has been trying to replace them, but they don’t seem to get a lot of help from the State Government wth concessions at various state-owned properties.

Here’s one example where the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art allows bicycle parking on one side of a low wall, but rejects motorcycles on the other. (Although several riders have risked being towed away.)

Tolls parking BCC Brisbane
One rule for bicycles and another for motorcycles at State-run GOMA!

David says allowing more free parking for motorcycles and scooters close to where a commuter works would be “another strong signal the government could send if it were serious about easing traffic congestion”.

“Minister Mark Bailey acknowledges that it is a state government regulation that restricts footpath parking for motorcycles and scooters,” he says.

“The Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009 currently provides that a driver (or rider) must not stop on a footpath unless there is a sign indicating that parking is permitted.

David White who started the Mt Glorious petition to reveiw speed limits motorcycle tolls
David White

Perhaps instead of restricting footpath parking unless permitted by signage, the better option would be to allow footpath parking unless signs say it’s not permitted.

“To have an implied permission to park a motorcycle or scooter on a footpath within the guidelines below would be something the state government could do.

“After all, even in designated parking spaces, riders must ensure they do not obstruct pedestrians, doorways, delivery vehicles, public transport users or access to parked cars.

“This is not the end of the discussion, only the opening question and answer.”

Meanwhile, BCC infrastructure chair Cr Amanda Cooper says there are several state-owned places where council would like to add motorcycle and scooter parking.

“We would be happy to do and pay for the works involved but they need to give us approval first,” she says.

“There are a lot of parks we maintain that are owned by the State.”