The government is looking to introduce toll fees for use of highways, to boosts its revenue basket. Toll fee is a form of road pricing typically implemented to help recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance for a private or a public road.
Treasury, the Ministry of Transport and the Attorney-General have been directed by the parliament to urgently table a Bill that will guide the imposition of toll fees on major national roads and establishment of a toll fund. Among the list of major highways where this fee will be imposed include, Nairobi-Nakuru, Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Thika and Nairobi’s Southern Bypass.
In Kenya, roads tolls came into place in the late 1980s but were abandoned in favour of the Roads Maintenance Levy due to corruption in toll stations, but is currently being charged as Ksh18 per litre for petrol and diesel. This strategy was borrowed from the developed world where road tolling was a form of taxation through which governments could recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance given the huge rise in the number of vehicles.
The proposed toll fees, which will be based on distance and capacity of the car. If the toll fee is implemented, the new charges, which will fall a new class of tax, will see motorists pay toll charges on top of the fuel levy despite the fact that roads are funded using tax revenues. The roads maintenance and fuel levies were also introduced in the place of toll fees.