Why driving could get more expensive for Sydneysiders

There are fears driving could soon become far more expensive for Sydney drivers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is concerned if Sydney’s WestConnex is added to Transurban’s portfolio it could lead to a near monopoly and higher tolls.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said WestConnex provided “a great opportunity for another player”.

Transurban already owns six tollways in Sydney – the Cross City Tunnel, the Eastern Distributor, Hills M2, Lane Cove Tunnel, M5 southwest and Westlink M7.

There are concerns if Transurban buys WestConnex it could have a monopoly on Sydney’s toll roads. Source: 7 News

Once completed WestConnex will provide 33 kilometres of tolling opportunities.

Mr Sims said locking out Transurban from purchasing another major tollway could benefit drivers.

“It opens the way for cheaper tolls,” he said.

“It opens the way for better service on the toll roads.”

One driver said if Transurban purchases the road it could be a “monopoly”.

“So that’s lots of money for them, hard work for us,” he said.

NRMA’s Peter Khoury said if the toll was too high people simply wouldn’t use the road. 

Transurban said in a statement to the stock exchange that the ACCC hadn’t identified “any issues of concern”.

The State Government wants a deal to proceed in early August. 

But Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay wants the government “to stop the process of sale right now and wait for the full findings of the ACCC”.

If the ACCC finds against Transurban, the next step could be court.