Kenya highways agency shelves toll plan for Thika Road

Thika superhighway. KeNHA has shelved plans to install toll booth on the highway.
Thika superhighway. KeNHA has shelved plans to install toll booth on the highway. PHOTO/XINHUA
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has shelved plans to implement toll stations along the Thika Superhighway.

KeNHA director-general Meshack Kidenda said the Authority will wait for the National Assembly to pass necessary laws that will allow them to introduce toll stations.

Mr Kidenda had in 2011 said that KeNHA would introduce toll booths on Thika Superhighway as a means to raise the estimated Sh1.9 billion required to maintain the highway.

“We wish to clarify that the intention to implement toll booths in order to generate funds for maintenance of the road network is still at the conception stage and is therefore an issue that needs to go through Parliament for legislation before it becomes law,” KeNHA said in a statement.

Many motorists are objecting the planned toll fees on Thika Road arguing that they pay Sh9 for every litre of fuel purchased to maintain the road.

However, the Authority has remained adamant that it will implement the fees once Parliament passes the necessary laws that will empower them to do so.

(Read: KeNHA to advertise tenders for Thika Road toll stations)

According to Mr Kidenda, an electronic toll management system will be put in place for easy revenue collection from motorists.

“Charges to be levied on motorists will depend on the vehicle size,” he said.

The proposed charges are Sh1.20 per kilometre for passenger cars and Sh1.79 for pick-ups and matatus. Buses and medium trucks using the highway will pay Sh2.39, while large lorries will part with Sh3.59 per kilometre.

Residents who access their workplaces and homes using the highway on private vehicles on a daily basis will get special exemption receipts or be granted subsidies.

Thika Superhighway, which was commissioned last November by former President Mwai Kibaki, was built by three Chinese companies – China Wuyi, Sino Hydro and China Shangli – at a cost of Sh31 billion.

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