Toll Roads Do Not Pay!

Toll roads just do not pay. At least in Australia they don't. Councils and states have praised projects before they begin construction, boasting of the benefits of new toll roads. At best such schemes can only expect to break even.

Drivers use it for a while with low introductory tolls. When the tolls are raised people change back to the old route. A toll is a dinner for a truck driver. Ordinary people just do not calculate the extra cost of petrol to avoid a toll road.

AECOM Technology did a feasibility study for a toll road. It grossly overestimated traffic flow. In short, it knew the numbers were inflated and knew the report was full of lies.  The company said if the court challenge to them is upheld it will bankrupt the business. The claimants are seeking three times the whole yearly earnings of the company which is based in the U.S. This is gross earnings, before depreciation, tax and amortization.

This amount is based on the bankruptcy of the RiverCity Motorway groups that built a toll road based on the AECOM report. AECOM is in trouble because several large banks financed the project and when it comes to legal cases they have bottomless pockets.

The initial report was superficial and done quickly at a low price of A$2.5 million. Banks say they have lost more than A$1.68 billion. When RiverCity failed the toll road was bought at the bargain basement cost of only A$618 million from the receiver, KordaMentha .

Other toll roads are now preparing their own court challenges to inaccurate reports that go back many years. Feasibility studies are notoriously incorrect. It is about time things were put right and governments took on the full responsibility of building new road. They take a large slice of tax from road users and spend it on other things.
Construction by Ty Buchanan
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