RMS bus fines reminder accompanies NorthConnex launch

Photography by: courtesy RMS + NorthConnex


PENALTIES will apply to some bus and truck operators for avoiding Sydney's new NorthConnex toll road, with gantry-camera vehicle-size monitoring in use, warns NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

RMS bus fines reminder accompanies NorthConnex launch
The ministerial (L-R: McCormack, Morrison, Berejiklian, Constance) march through the new tunnel.

As first reported in ABC magazine's sister title ATN, amidst the pomp and ceremony of NorthConnex’s first end-to-end drivethrough lurks a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) memo to commercial vehicle operators in May, 2020, on the consequences of avoiding the new toll road.

The launch of the AUD$3 billion state-federal initiative saw a photo opportunity for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Federal Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance at the 9km twin tunnels, which travel between the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga and the M2 Hills Motorway at West Pennant Hills.

The tunnel is said to be open to the public "within two months".

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In a statement, all ministers praised the flagship project, with Berejiklian noting once complete NorthConnex would save up to 15 minutes’ travel time and allow drivers to avoid 21 sets of traffic lights along Pennant Hills Road.
 
"Today’s drive-through is another indication of how close we are getting to opening this key piece of infrastructure and helping to alleviate the traffic problems Pennant Hills Road has been experiencing for decades," she said.
 
"NorthConnex will return local streets to local communities by taking up to 5,000 trucks per day off Pennant Hills Road, easing congestion, improving safety and local air quality, and reducing traffic noise."

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McCormack adds: "This project is one of many which is moving people safely and more efficiently across Sydney, while creating job opportunities for local workers."

Given the project is being delivered in partnership with toll road operator Transurban, tolls will apply, with April 2020 pricing set at $7.83 for cars and $23.50 for heavy vehicles.

More pertinent to industry, however, is RMS' recently released Guide to using NorthConnex for trucks and buses, reminding operators that: "...we will only be able to deliver the benefits of NorthConnex by removing some of the truck and bus traffic from Pennant Hills Road".

It says operators will need to know their vehicle dimensions and plan trips accordingly.


How operators expressed their angst over NorthConnex, here


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"Trucks and buses (over 12.5 metres long or over 2.8 metres clearance height) travelling between the M1 and M2 must use the tunnels unless they have a genuine delivery or pick up destination only accessible via Pennant Hills Road," the document states.

"Two gantries will monitor trucks and buses on Pennant Hills Road – in the north at Normanhurst and in the south at Beecroft/West Pennant Hills.

"Cameras in the gantries will record the height and length of trucks and buses.

"Trucks and buses (over 12.5 metres long or over 2.8 metres clearance height) which pass both gantries with the flow of traffic will receive a fine of $191 with no loss of demerit points."

Exceptions apply to vehicles transporting dangerous goods with a dangerous goods placard or sign, and oversize vehicles operating under a Class 1 permit or notice approved to use Pennant Hills Road.

RMS pledges to share further information on NorthConnex to ensure industry can plan for the new regulation.

The Guide to using NorthConnex for trucks and buses is available here.

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