DIEPPE, N.B. — The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) has announced it is shocked by the new toll structure for the Confederation Bridge, to be implemented Jan. 1.The new rate structure, combined with inflation adjustments, will have one of the most common configurations of tractor-trailer travelling the bridge (six-axle) paying $11 more per crossing by the new year.”The new rate structure that strait crossing has arrived at is unfairly targeting the trucking industry and is geared for generating additional revenues at our expense. An increase of 7.5 per cent for five-axle vehicles and 19.4 per cent for six-axles is totally unacceptable” says APTA New Brunswick vice chair, Shane Esson.However, Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre appears to disagree. “The majority of stakeholders believed this would have a very positive impact on tourism and the bus industry, will not impact the majority of traffic traveling by car, and will maintain fairness for the trucking industry,” Lapierre said in a Nov. 7 press release.Members of the APTA have said they feel it’s unfair for the trucking industry to have to subsidize tourism in Prince Edward Island. The new rate structure drops the rate for buses 79.6 per cent for three-axles and 82.5 per cent for two-axles.Recreational vehicle rates and van rates also decrease by 12.7 per cent while truck rates increase in all of the most common axle configurations crossing the bridge.”In order to survive, trucking companies are already passing on fuel surcharges of over 20 per cent, so you can imagine the difficulty of informing your customer that they will have to cover another cost with a toll increase of 19.4 per cent,” said John MacLean, APTA vice chair for Prince Edward Island. “Unfortunately, the trucking industry can not afford to absorb another cost so it will be the farmers and the manufacturers of P.E.I. that will suffer the most.”The APTA said the Minister of Transport Canada should reconsider his decision to approve this rate structure that unfairly targets the trucking industry and its customers.
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