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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

‘Zone toll’ for Byron?

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Tim Shanasy, Byron Bay

There have been unsuccessful attempts in achieving a ‘bed tax’ for Byron visitors, to help pay for the human wear and tear on our pummelled little town.

The following alternative struck me recently and may be worth considering.

Society has established e-tag technology for tollways and bridges etc, so I’m wondering if a ‘zone toll’ may have any merit. It could go something like this: A scanning camera is set up at Ewingsdale Road, just west of Kendall Street, and another on Bangalow Road, between MacKay Street and Mahogany Drive.

These cameras read all number plates entering and leaving the Byron ‘zone’. Each number plate corresponds to the car’s registered address. A simple computer task determines the address’s radial distance from say, the Byron Bay Post Office. If within, say 50km, no toll is charged. If between 50 and 100km, half toll is charged. And beyond 100km, full toll is charged. All very arbitrary, but you get the idea.

This system could also evaluate days within the zone, and or trips out of and back in the zone within a day, so as to not double-dip etc.

This scheme would target cars and motorbikes, and be an active tool in regulating overall congestion, while offering Byron Shire vital funding to offset the wear and tear, especially from Queensland vehicles that contribute zero registration income to NSW.

For vehicles without e-tags, signage normally displays a web address to settle accounts within a certain time.

Just an idea. What do you think?

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  1. Tim In theUS and Europe there are already road tax systems that track vehicle movement. I am not aware of any that differentiates between locals and visitors. Why would they? On most days of the year visitor numbers and their cars are a small percent of the population/traffic. It is locals who .predominantly clog and wear the roads, which is why locals are not usually excempt from parking charges. Of course locals pay rates, but other LGAs do not charge Byronites who sneak out for a surrepticious fast food hit or other delight forbidden in their shire.

    I do though agree some tracking is needed of the use of QLD plated vehicles in NSW by people who live and work in NSW, and take advantage of less rigourous and expensive QLD rego arrangements. Hopefully smart use of number plate tracking will allow police to crack down on this fraud.


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