Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has announced plans to introduce toll charges for major roads across the country.
speaking during the launch of the Kenya National Highways Authority strategic plan for 2023 to 2027, where Murkomen emphasized the government’s intention to both expand key road networks and implement fees for road usage.
While hailing the public private funding model that was implemented for the Nairobi Expressway, the CS highlighted that the State will begin implementing the road toll model on various commonly used roads.
“I believe that we can toll the road from Athiriver to Namanga, I believe that it is possible to toll the road from Galleria to Rongai to Ngong and back to Karen Shopping Centre. I believe also that it is possible to expand and toll the road of Kiambu road,” he said.
For those unable to afford toll fees, Murkomen assured that there would be alternative solutions.
“The good news is that there are so many alternative routes along this corridor that those who don’t wish to pay toll fees, we’ll give them those alternative roads,” he said.
Additionally, he hinted at a potential increase in the Road Maintenance Levy Fund, citing a rise in the cost of road maintenance, Currently set at Ksh.18 per litre and collected at the pump, there had been a previous proposal by the Kenya Roads Board to raise the levy to Ksh.23 per litre due to inflation, a move that could significantly impact fuel costs.
“If you look at the money allocated to KeNHA at 40%, I can say without fear of contradiction that KeNHA in the next 2 years will not be able to meet its responsibilities in terms of maintaining the roads to the standard they have done before,” said the CS.
The looming prospect of tolls on major roads and a potential hike in the road maintenance levy fund places the responsibility on citizens to contribute towards the Ksh.708 billion needed, as stated by KeNHA, for improving the road infrastructure network over the next 5 years.
This announcement raises discussions about the balance between public contributions and government initiatives to fund crucial infrastructure projects.