THE Federal Minister responsible for delivering the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing has confirmed what Lockyer Valley Regional Council has feared - the current Warrego Hwy crossing will be tolled for trucks once the new one is operational.
Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane has told the Gatton, Lockyer and Brisbane Valley Star this was the government's intention all along.
"It has always been the intention to toll both the existing Range road and the Second Range Crossing for heavy vehicles, so as to ensure trucks use the bypass when it is complete instead of continuing to travel through Toowoomba," Mr Macfarlane said.
"This is to ensure the bypass meets its two top priorities - to take the heavy vehicles off Toowoomba's roads and to provide trucks with a safer, quicker and more efficient route around Toowoomba."
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones had criticised this idea in last week's council meeting as an unnecessary additional cost to transport operators.
Cr Jones said he had also heard there were plans to have only one down lane in the new tunnel east of Toowoomba, which he described as "crazy".
Mr Macfarlane refused to confirm the number of down lanes until "detailed planning" was completed in coming months.
"While the route of the Toowoomba Bypass is finalised and the corridor has been purchased, the planning work will determine the specific details of the road," he said.
"This is a huge piece of infrastructure and we must ensure it can meet current and future demand."
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