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It’s ‘chaos and congestion’ with bridge tolls gone say B.C. truckers

Click to play video 'No more tolls on B.C. bridges' No more tolls on B.C. bridges
WATCH: No more tolls on B.C. bridges – Sep 1, 2017

While many drivers appear happy to have had tolls removed from the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, one group of regular road users is anything but thrilled: truckers.

The president of the BC Trucking Association says it’s been nothing but “chaos and congestion” on major routes since tolls on the bridges were removed.

READ MORE: Annacis Island businesses cheer as NDP axes bridge tolls

According to Louise Yako, many motorists appear to be shifting to new routes they aren’t used to taking.

That’s leading to more crashes and slowing down the flow of traffic, causing headaches for truckers, she said.

“Some [truck drivers] are reporting not being able to make a trip to a trip-and-a-half per day because of the greater volumes. It means higher costs, it means more emissions.”
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WATCH: Bridge traffic before and after Port Mann tolls end

Click to play video 'Bridge traffic before and after Port Mann tolls end' Bridge traffic before and after Port Mann tolls end
Bridge traffic before and after Port Mann tolls end – Sep 6, 2017

The delays could result in a hit to the local economy and higher costs for consumers, she said.

“The goods still need to be delivered, and if they’re not being delivered under the current circumstances — that is with the number of trucks we have on the road today — they’ll add to those trucks in order to do it,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. could see alternative road pricing after elimination of bridge tolls

Yako said the BC Trucking Association supports mobility pricing, which she said would be one avenue to reduce congestion.

A spokesperson for ICBC said crashes are up overall across B.C. in recent years, but there is no evidence to say they’ve increased since the tolls were eliminated.

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B.C.’s NDP government eliminated tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges on Sept. 1, fulfilling one of its key campaign promises.