Big roads, big tolls: How big roads can hurt the environment
It’s not just that the toll road system is big and sprawling.
It’s also that it is often not even that you need a toll road to get to a destination.
A recent study found that drivers who use a toll lane for a few minutes can cause up to 300 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of driving 3.2 kilometres (1.7 miles) of road.
It also found that using a toll on a motorway can lead to more than 50 per cent of all road traffic being diverted.
The biggest impact is seen in heavy traffic: using a heavy toll lane can cause traffic to take longer to move, increasing the time it takes to get from A to B. And that’s not all: using the same toll lane to cross a toll bridge is twice as likely to cause delays, according to the study.
What are the alternatives?
It’s easy to blame the tolls.
For some, it is a matter of money, which is a big reason why tolls are still used.
But there are many other alternatives to tolls that can reduce CO2 and the environment.
It’s possible to build and maintain toll roads on existing roads.
There are other ways to reduce the pollution of a road, such as building barriers that reduce the number of cars travelling along the road and installing electronic monitoring systems that monitor the speed of vehicles.
There are many ways to avoid the toll.
For example, you can pay by the kilometre, or kilometre per day, rather than by the kilometres.
Or you can drive the distance with a small vehicle, or pay by miles rather than kilometres.
You can also pay for a toll in advance or in a lump sum.
If you pay for the toll in cash, it’s cheaper and less likely to be disputed.
If the road is heavily used, then you’ll need to make your own arrangements for using it.
How to avoid tolls on a big road There are many different ways to minimise the impact of a toll.
The best way to minimised the impact on your car or farm is to: avoid using the toll lane at all If you’re planning to use a motorbike, avoid using it on a road that has a toll (unless you know where the toll booths are).
If you’re travelling from home to work or school, do your best to avoid using a motor vehicle on the road that is not used for a road project.
If it’s a toll-free highway, use a vehicle that’s less than four metres wide and less than two metres high, which are marked with blue lights and are only used for road projects and to drive between toll booths.
If a road has a dedicated toll lane, do not use it.
It will increase the likelihood that the road will be diverted, and will cause a traffic jam.
The best way not to use the toll is to drive in the other direction and avoid using toll lanes at all.
This means avoiding the toll-protected lanes.
Driving with a driver-only car is the best way.
This includes using toll-safe lanes, such that you have a clear path to the toll booth.
You should also use a lane that is wide enough to avoid a crash, but not so wide that you’ll hit a road sign.
Use a safe alternative to a toll When the road has no toll lanes, there is a chance that a road will remain closed for up to an hour or longer.
For instance, the road from A in the north-west of Perth to C in the south-west may close at 7:30pm (local time) each night and have to be reopened at 7am each morning.
The road is closed for at least three hours each night during winter and spring and during the Easter holidays.
The only way to avoid this is to use an alternative road.
A safe alternative is to take the highway to a different location, such the main road from C to A or the nearby roads from A north to C. Use the safe alternative instead of a big toll road.