This morning we received notification that we had been fined 28.41 Australian Dollars for using a Toll road without paying.
Now you might ask ‘how this can happen’ particularly if you are familiar with Toll Roads in France where you approach a booth, pay your money or get a ticket and seal the deal when you leave the motorway.
Not in Australia.
You can be driving along quite merrily and suddenly see a sign that says Toll Road Ahead. Often by the time they give you this notice it is too late to go anywhere else and in our experience the signage is very often so confusing you don’t know which route is a Toll and which isn’t. Often they all turn out to be Tolls.
This was the case with us.
We had gotten lost several times (Sydney primarily but i think we did in Brisbane too) during our travels, and found ourselves on a road we didn’t want but we had a vague idea we were heading in the right direction so needed to stay on it.
Then, we were suddenly confronted with a sign that notified us the road ahead was a Toll and as there weren’t any other routes to choose, we decided to stick with it.
However, we never came across the expected Toll Booth.
later we were asking about this at the Hotel where we were staying and we were told they were either pre pay, or you could go on line and pay within three days so we decided we needed to pay up ASAP.
Unfortunately in Sydney there are three different Toll Systems and three different companies that manage them, so the first challenge was to find the right people to pay.
Given the only thing we knew was that it was ‘Some where in Sydney’ close to the airport it became a bit of a puzzle as all three are in the same place. This wasn’t very helpful.
However, we eventually phoned a company (after asking in the local Supermarket what we should do) and paid the Toll. Job Done.
Well apparently not.
The bill for a 4 x Dollar Toll is now 28.41 Australian Dollars however, the paperwork doesn’t tell us where we used this Toll or the date of our misdemeanour so we don’t know if we’ve now paid this twice or whether we went through yet another Toll without Knowing.
Just one more bizarre event in a land where they are supposed to speak English.