Users of Thika Road and other major highways, including the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, will soon be required to pay toll fees. The money will be used to maintain roads. The Government will next month appoint a transaction consultant to advice on how the initiative will be introduced and implemented.
Infrastructure PS John Mosonik yesterday confirmed that the process to appoint a transaction adviser is almost complete. This adds more pain to motorists as the new fees will be over and above other charges road users pay such as fuel levy.
The World Bank is assisting the Government to procure the transaction adviser. “We are almost completing the process to name a transaction adviser to guide us how the major roads in the country will be subjected to toll charging model. The lead transaction advisor will carry out feasibility studies, design, outline toll charges, carry out survey of the stated roads, and advise on the legal and technical mechanism of achieving the same,” said Eng Mosonik.
He said this during the opening of the First African Bitumen/Aspalt Forum 2015 in a Nairobi Hotel where he represented the Infrastructure and Transport Cabinet Secretary Eng Michael Kamau.
The government is also shopping for environmental, traffic and engineering and legal consultants to work out modalities under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. The consultants will guide the Government on how best to start charging users of Nairobi-Mombasa and Nairobi-Nakuru highways, Thika Superhighway, and the yet to be completed 28.6km Southern by-pass road. The State plans is to put the four roads under toll charging model for a period of 30 years.
Roads Maintenance Levy
He said the Government expects that in two years’ time, contractors will start the toll charging project. Under the new arrangement, the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway will have two toll stations, in Mariakani and at the Machakos turn off.
The Nairobi-Nakuru Highway will have three toll stations, at Rironi (Limuru), Naivasha and Lanet.
National Treasury advertised for the Expression of Interest last June saying it needed the services of a lead and financial adviser to oversee the process. Introduction of toll stations was approved by the Cabinet last year under the PPP arrangement. The tolling system failed to kick off in 2012 when the government proposed to install stations along the Thika Super Highway once it was complete.
But motorists using the road under the umbrella body of the Motorists Association Kenya (MAK) threatened to protest against the proposed toll stations.
The association then argued that, the fuel levy charged on every motorist while fuelling was enough, and further the toll stations had been replaced by a Roads Maintenance Levy known as Fuel Levy. Once the transaction advisers complete their part, the Government will initiate the process of tendering the projects.