Motorists to pay Sh5 per kilometre on Mombasa, Thika highways
Road users will pay Sh5 for every kilometre travelled from Mombasa to Mau Summit interchange in Nakuru County if proposals made to the government are adopted.
Under the proposal, which has to get Cabinet and Parliament approval before it is effected, a private firm will upgrade and maintain roads.
The government will award a contract of between 25 and 30 years to a private company to upgrade the affected highways into dual carriageways, maintain and charge road users.
This means that a motorist driving from Nairobi to Nakuru- a distance of 157 kilometres- will pay Sh785.
Driving from Nairobi to Mombasa, a distance of 484 kilometres, will cost a motorist Sh2,420 in toll charges.
Apart from the Mombasa-Nakuru stretch, the tolling proposal will also affect road users of the Thika Superhighway and the Southern bypass and Likoni-Nyali Bridge in Mombasa.
In March, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia put on hold a plan to introduce a similar toll on the Southern bypass after motorists complained of double taxation.
On Wednesday, Kenya National Highways Authority Director General Peter Munindia said the proposed tolls will replace the Fuel Levy Funds in the roads in what the government hopes will reduce time of travel, accidents and traffic jams.
Currently, motorists pay Sh18 for every litre of diesel or petrol to the government as road maintenance levy to finance improvement of roads and construction of new ones.
Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik said that the tolling proposal will be discussed by the Cabinet in its next meeting.
“To maintain a road is extremely expensive, and the Sh25 billion Fuel Levy Fund is not enough to maintain the roads and build them to the standards we want,” said Mr Mosonik.
These new figures — in case the proposed Sh5 is agreed upon — will reduce for frequent road users whose charges will be electronically placed at a lower rate.
The proposal, however, still has to go through the Cabinet and be approved by Parliament after rigorous public participation.
Mr Munindia said the idea will help road users save a lot of time and money on the roads.
“We went out and were asking people what they thought was a reasonable price. Most of them said they could pay Sh5 per kilometre. Of course this will still be put through a public participation process for all of us to agree,” said Mr Munindia.
Mr Mosonik and Mr Munindia were speaking at Transport offices on Wednesday when they signed a Sh4 billion contract with Jiangxi Zhongmei Engineering Construction Company for the completion of the Kakamega-Webuye Road, the last batch of an ambitious corridor from Kisumu to Kitale, and which will soon stretch to Lodwar.
The ministry has planned an investor conference in November where the idea will be pitched to interested companies and the public informed how the toll procedure will work.
Mr Munindia revealed that the companies that will win the tender will roll out an electronic system to collect the money. This way, he said, vehicles can be monitored and their payment put in a system for accountability.