Treasury accelerates plan to effect road toll

The Thika highway is one of the roads on which a toll system will be installed. [File, Standard]

The Government has started the process of engaging the company that will implement systems for the payment of fees by road users.

This brings the plan to reintroduce toll stations so that motorists pay for the maintenance of roads closer to reality.

In a notice on Wednesday, the National Treasury said it is looking for a transaction adviser to help recruit a tolling operator.

The Government has earmarked a number of roads on which it plans to instal tolling systems.

The roads will be upgraded or constructed through a public-private partnership model, where private firms will undertake construction and ensure that the roads remain in a good condition over an agreed contract period.

The tolling operator will look into modalities of motorists paying for using the roads – which may include putting up toll stations – and then remit the money to the companies that will operate the roads.

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“The objective of the transaction adviser assignment is to assist the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit and contracting agencies with the competitive procurement of a project sponsor of a tolling operator for Kenya’s First Mover Toll Roads PPP programme through a PPP arrangement,” said Treasury in the statement.

Maintenance leases

The projects earmarked for tolling include the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, the Second Nyali Bridge that will connect Mombasa Island to the mainland, the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit road, the Nairobi Southern Bypass, and the Thika superhighway.

The new projects are expected to cost Sh320 billion, with maintenance leases running for between 10 and 30 years.

In November, the Government started looking for a firm to rehabilitate, expand, and maintain the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit road. The firm will also operate and maintain the Nairobi Southern Bypass.

The Government has in the past argued that money collected through the Road Maintenance Levy has not been adequate to cater for road repairs, hence the need to get additional revenues. In 2016, Sh40 billion was collected through the levy, which is factored in the retail price of fuel. It currently stands at Sh18.

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