Truckies fight Melb toll road fee hike

Christopher Talbot

Increasing tolls for trucks on Melbourne's Citylink will force heavy vehicles into suburban roads and drive up freight costs, transport giant Linfox says.

Citylink operator Transurban plans to slug trucks a daily rate of $26.70 to use the road from April 1, up from $11.85, to pay for the Citylink/Tulla widening project, which is not due to be finished until 2018.

Linfox said on Friday it was considering diverting more trucks off the route and onto arterial roads to ease the burden on its bottom line.

"We will continue to review the use of alternative arterial roads to ensure we can deliver value and reliability for our customers," Linfox said in a statement.

"The haulage, logistics and supply chain industries operate on low margins and the increased cost of tolls will be passed on to customers and ultimately consumers."

Linfox says the roadworks have already increased its running costs, with extensive delays and diversions expected to persist until the project is completed.

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said toll increases were announced in 2014 before the project began and were agreed to by the previous coalition government.

"Trucking rates are being brought into line with other states and territories -- VicRoads and Transurban have been working with the freight industry over the last two years to ensure they had time to adjust," Mr Donnellan said.