New Toowoomba Bypass to take toll on rural truckies
SMALL rural trucking companies will be forced to hitch up their prices in order to afford the toll when the Toowoomba Bypass opens next month.
From September 8, trucks travelling between the southwest and Brisbane will have to pay $22.85 to avoid Toowoomba city and the original range crossing.
Toowoomba trucking firm Maney Transport, which has a depot in Roma, would look at increasing charges to factor in the new toll, owner operator Tony Maney said.
"For our operations, most vehicles have to go through Toowoomba," he said.
"Our depot is on the north side of town, so we will have to have a real good look at our business model.
"On our standard run-of- the-mill haul movement, we have four vehicles going each way each night.
"That will add up to $200 a night, six nights a week. An extra $1200 a week is going to add up."
Tolls aren't anything new for Mr Maney - his Brisbane operation costs him almost $2000 a week - but that has long been incorporated into his charges.
He fears this potential increase will take a toll on his western clients.
"We will have to start charging more and that's a problem for the western area," he said.
"We have a fair few clients out in Charleville and in Roma and they're doing it fairly hard out there.
"To add more onto them isn't something I would want to do but we haven't got that much room to move in our margin so we will have to wait and see.
"If you increase rates, you will always get backlash. If we are forced into using that toll road, we will have to absorb what we can but we will probably have to raise ... but if our hands are tied, our hands are tied."
The Toowoomba bypass is expected to shave off 30 minutes each way but as the company's depot calls the north side of Toowoomba home, that won't mean much for Mr Maney.
"The time factor doesn't mean that much because we're right near Mort St, where you had to go through the old way anyway," he said.