Confederation tolls to rise

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CHARLOTTETOWN, Ont. – As of Jan. 1, straight trucks will pay an additional 75 cents to cross the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island, while each trailer in a combination will cost an extra dollar per crossing.

That brings tolls to $41.50 for a straight truck, $51.75 for a tractor-trailer, and $103.50 for a two-trailer combination.

Automobile drivers, meanwhile, will pay another 75 cents to cross the 13-kilometre span, up to $36.25.

Transport Canada told bridge officials about the new rate structure yesterday.

“It’s 75 per cent of the change in inflation in the year,” adds span manager John Francis, referring to the increase. That number is then rounded to the nearest 25 cents.

In addition to the tolls, the federal government also provides an annual subsidy of $42 million, which will continue for the next 30 years. n

Phase 2 of toll route opens Tory toll decision is still pending

LONGS CREEK, N.B. – The Maritime Road Development Corporation opened Phase 2 of the Fredericton-Moncton Toll Route.

The new stretch – which extends from Longs Creek into Fredericton – was initially going to be free to users while the toll collection equipment is brought online and thoroughly tested.

A six-axle rig will be charged $4.25 at the new plaza and if that same vehicle continues east, passing through the original toll booth at Salisbury, the total bill will be $8.25. Cars making the same trip will pay $2.

The ruling Conservative has about one month left to remove the tolls all together from the controversial route in order to meet election promises made by Premier Bernard Lord. Lately he has hinted the user fees may not be eliminated if the cost to the province were to increase dramatically as a result.

The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) says it’s adopting a wait-and-see approach on the toll issue.

“We as an industry supported Mr. Lord when he came to power,” says Ralph Boyd, president of the APTA. “Until he proves us wrong, we’ll wait and see what he does.” n

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