Wednesday, December 12 2018

VietNamNews

No standard distance between toll stations

Update: May, 18/2018 - 18:00
A toll booth in the Cửu Long (Mekong Delta) province of Sóc Trăng. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Hiếu
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Transport has decided not to regulate the distance between toll booths in a draft version of a circular on the operations of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) toll stations, said minister Nguyễn Văn Thể.

The first draft version stated that distances between BOT toll booths must at least 70km to ensure drivers aren’t subjected to an unfair deal. However, the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN) under the Ministry of Transport later removed the clause in the second draft.

Thể said that the transport ministry did not order the directorate to set the regulation.

The minister said that the DRVN’s compiling unit made a mistake, and failed to provide enough information to the public. While it has not caused serious consequences, public opinion is firmly against the measure, with local residents expressing the opinion that it is unfair for them to have to pay to traverse multiple toll stations when on their daily routes.

Thể asked the DRVN’s compiling committee to review their responsibilities and report directly to the ministry.

New BOT stations will be built on roads currently under construction following a resolution of the National Assembly Standing Committee. Fee collection will no longer be based on the number of times drivers run through toll stations, but instead based on the distance vehicles have driven. For this reason, the regulation on distance between toll stations is no longer important, he said.

“The ministry will create conditions for people to have a choice in the roads they use," he said. "The Government will not build new highways; instead they will build expressways along the current highways.

"This means that people can either pay the fee to use the expressway, or use the adjacent highway for free."

He added that an automatic toll collection system will be installed to save time and ensure financial transparency. Toll booth barriers will be dismantled.

In the past, many drivers have protested against toll stations nationwide for their inappropriate locations, or due to unreasonable fees. — VNS

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