MOTORISTS travelling from the Central West to Sydney will be forced to use the Bells Line of Road or pay a toll as the government introduces a distance-based toll on the M4.

The move will result in an increase in traffic on the notorious Bells Line of Road says Orange councillor Jeff Whitton.

Cr Whitton, travels to Sydney regularly for work and says the implementation of a toll on the M4, by the state government, was revenue-raising and left regional people out-of-pocket because the alternative route was a far more difficult road to drive on and had patches of no mobile phone reception.

“Well the Bells Line is a road, not a highway like the Great Western Highway which is designed for that type of traffic,” he said.

“A lot of people from regional centres don’t have e-tags so they will avoid the tolls and have to use the Bells Line.”

From mid-2017 motorists travelling from the Central West to Central in Sydney, via the M4 will have to pay $4.21.

The toll has been introduced to pay for the upgrade and widening of the M4 to four lanes in each direction from Church Street to Homebush Bay as part of the first stage of WestConnex.

According to a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman the toll charge is based on distance travelled, similar to the tolls on the M7.

“This is a fairer, more equitable system made possible by electronic tolling and ensures motorists are only paying for the roads they’re using,” she said.

“The maximum toll for the M4 widening between Church Street, Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, Homebush will be $4.21, with a minimum toll for travel between Silverwater Road and Hill Road of $1.63.”

The spokeswoman said all tolled roads have alternative options for motorists.

In the case of the Great Western Highway, which becomes the M4, the Bells Line of Road is the alternative.

According to the Bells Line Expressway lobbyists there are 19 speed variations on the Bells Line of Road, it has up to 26 kilometres where motorists are without a safe overtaking opportunity and the Bells Line of Road experiences around twice the typical rates of crashes as other roads in NSW.

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