Murkomen: Nairobi Expressway toll charges here to stay
Transport Cabinet Secretary nominee Kipchumba Murkomen says the Nairobi Expressway toll charges will not be scrapped.
Despite public outcry from motorists over the fees, Mr Murkomen argues that tolling of roads should be perceived as saving and not a charge.
Murkomen spoke while making an appearance before the Committee on Appointments in Parliament on Wednesday, adding he even plans to dual most roads which shall also be tolled if deemed necessary.
“Tolling is not an extra charge, it’s a saving. If you look at the Expressway, you’ll find it takes a shorter time to move from one end to the other meaning that you’ve saved upto 3 hours” said Murkomen.
“You realize the cost of staying at Mombasa road for 3 hours will come to a certain figure and that will save you when it is reduced to 20 minutes but most importantly you save a lot on fuel.”
Mr Murkomen was speaking before a 15-member-committee chaired by National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula.
In July, President William Ruto said Kenyans should not be charged for using the Nairobi Expressway and promised to remove the charges if elected in the August 9, 2022 polls.
Ruto, the then Deputy President, while speaking in an interview on KTN News on July 7, 2022, said Kenyans are suffering owing to the ballooning debt and wage bill and should not be paying to use the roads.
“You don’t charge people for using the road,” he said.
He argued that tolling inflicts an unfair tax burden on the already suffering Kenyans.
“Taxation will be taken to products, not highways. People will pay for products that are transported through the road but not for using them,” he added.
Motorists pay between Sh115 and Sh1,550 to use the 27km highway depending on the distance travelled and the size of the vehicle. Ambulances, police and military vehicles will be exempt from paying tolls.
Motorcycles, bicycles, scooters and tuktuks are not allowed on the highway. Also prohibited are pedestrians and skaters. Others prohibited are wheelbarrows and handcarts. Motorists are also banned from driving on the emergency lane.
The Sh89 billion dual carriageway has 11 interchanges at Mlolongo, Standard Gauge Railway, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie Avenue, Museum Hill, Westlands and James Gichuru Road.
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