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AFRICA: Kenyan Parliament Front a New Bill Introducing Fees for Use of Highway

By Daily Nation

LEGISREPORTS NG – As Kenyan Parliament introduces a new Bill that sets the stage for introduction of fees for use of highways and county roads, Motorists face more pains reports the Daily Nation.

The Bill is seeking to reintroduce the toll fee on major national roads as motorists prepare to pay an additional Sh3 for every litre of fuel, which will next month push petrol above the Sh100 mark for the first time since August 2013.

The proposed law also seeks to introduce a road user charge on other national and county roads that will be based on distance travelled and vehicle weight.

“The Cabinet secretary, in consultation with the Authority may declare a national trunk road or a portion thereof as a national toll road,” reads a section of the Kenya Roads Bill, 2015.

“The Cabinet secretary responsible for finance may, in consultation with the Cabinet secretary (responsible for roads) make regulations authorising imposition and collection of road user charges by the authority in respect of roads, including national and county roads,” it adds.

The fate of small personal vehicles will, however, rest with the Treasury secretary who will have the power to set a minimum weight for vehicles to be charged.

“The regulations made under this section may provide for charges related to the weight of the vehicle, including exemption from charges for vehicles below a minimum weight,” the Bill adds.

Cars liable for the fee will need to be fitted with distance recorders for calculating the fee. Parliament will have the final say on the regulations guiding the payment of the road charges. The regulations will offer clarity on how the roads use fee will be administered.

The introduction of the charges will see motorists pay three different fees for maintenance of roads, including the fuel levy, toll charge and roads user charge.

New Zealand levies a road user charge but this is only for vehicles that do not pay a fuel levy. All vehicles that use petrol and those that use diesel but weigh less than 3,500 kilogrammes pay a fuel levy. Motorists who pay a road user charge are required to buy a distance licence which are in units of 1,000 kilometres. Kenya has been toying with the idea of re-introducing the toll fees on certain roads to cater for their maintenance costs.

Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik in January had said there were plans to contract a transaction adviser on the plan to implement the toll stations scheme.

Mr Mosonik said that Mombasa-Nairobi-Nakuru highway, Thika Road and Southern by-pass were to be the first roads targeted under this scheme.

The road toll fees was introduced in the 1980s but was scrapped in favour of the fuel levy.

Post from Legis Reports Ng

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