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Tolls are now being charged on the $2.5 billion EastLink motorway in Melbourne after a month’s toll-free driving for motorists.

The 39 km EastLink opened on June 29 and monitoring by operator, Connect East, showed average daily trips of 275,364 for its first week of operation. There were no revenue figures because of the motorway’s toll-free status, but ConnectEast says for analysis purposes, the theoretical weighted average trip toll is estimated at $2.61.

The busiest sections of EastLink in the first week all recorded more than 90,000 average daily trips. They were:

• the Springvale Road to Ringwood bypass (118, 405 average daily trips);
• Maroondah Highway to Canterbury Road (96,821 trips);
• Canterbury Road to Boronia Road (97,209);
• Boronia Road to Burwood Highway (95,957);
• Burwood Highway to High Street Road (95,021);
• High Street Road to Ferntree Gully Road (94,570); and
• Ferntree Gully Road to Wellington Road (91,462).

Connect East Managing Director, John Gardiner, says EastLink has been smoothly integrated into the surrounding road network since opening to traffic. “The community has welcomed the motorway’s opening and many people are taking the opportunity to sample the fuel and time savings EastLink delivers.”

Victorian Roads and Ports Minister, Tim Pallas, says the value of time savings and reduced vehicle costs are already benefiting companies along the EastLink corridor.

“Many businesses, particularly in the manufacturing, freight and logistics industries, have targeted land around EastLink as a prime opportunity for growth because they know it makes good business sense,” Mr Pallas says.

“The opening of EastLink has also reduced congestion on surrounding arterial roads creating lifestyle benefits for communities as well as productivity efficiencies for business.”

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