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Drivers could be slugged with Melbourne congestion tax



Victorian drivers could be slugged close to $10 a day to drive into the Melbourne CBD under a renewed push for a congestion tax.

Public policy think tank the Grattan Institute claims the increased use of cars post-COVID and the under utilisation of public transport is a "recipe for gridlock" and a levy to drive into the city would help deter motorists from using their vehicles.

"You'd expect to take about 5000 cars off the road during the morning and afternoon peak," the institute's transport and cities program director Marion Terrill told 9News.

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Under the proposal, the CBD would be surrounded by a boundary, monitored by number plate cameras that would clock and charge drivers.

"I think the right rate to set it is about the equivalent to a public transport fare," Terrill said.

The Grattan Institute claims the tax would help improve traffic flow right across Melbourne, with speed increases in the city of about 16 per cent in the CBD and 1 per cent across the entire road network, similar to the effects of a major new freeway expansion.

"If you put it in the CBD, that's the part of Melbourne that's got the best public transport coverage from all parts of the city as a whole," Terrill said.

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International cities, including Stockholm and London, use congestion taxes where it costs drivers close to $30 to drive into the CBD.

The Victorian government wouldn't be drawn on whether they were considering a new tax, instead telling 9News the focus was on improving the city's public transport network.

"One of the most important ways we can manage congestion is a public transport network providing a reliable and efficient service," a government spokesperson said.

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