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VAS

Need to rethink toll stations

COMMENTARY
By Nicholas Asego | November 9th 2016
Under the new system, motorists will be required to pay a specific fee every time they use the road. For example, if the private contractor will charge Sh200 per trip, a motorist travelling from Thika to Mombasa Road will be required to pay at least Sh800 for the return trip.PHOTO: COURTESY

The Government has confirmed it plans to introduce toll stations on at least five key roads, among them Thika Road and the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway.

Under the new system, motorists will be required to pay a specific fee every time they use the road. For example, if the private contractor will charge Sh200 per trip, a motorist travelling from Thika to Mombasa Road will be required to pay at least Sh800 for the return trip.

In addition to parking fees, the other levies loaded on consumers such as road maintenance levies and railway development levies, Kenyans will be pushed to double taxation, having funded the roads.

Granted, the plan promises to give the infrastructure ministry the billions it needs to maintain the roads. The Government hopes to unlock about Sh380b from the private sector under the toll system that will also affect the Southern Bypass, the second Nyali Bridge and the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway.

There will be no alternatives for motorists who may not want to use the new roads, essentially forcing every motorist to pay for the road.

In a country where Kenyans are already overburdened with taxes, any additional levies must be carefully thought out before they are implemented since they will also contribute to the cost of doing business.

Consumers stand to be some of the biggest losers since they will shoulder the burden of the new taxes.

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