Dewan Rakyat: Toll cut a letdown, say backbenchers

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Dewan Rakyat: Toll cut a letdown, say backbenchers

Postby admin » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:12 am

THE Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club is unhappy with the cut in toll charges for midnight travel on the Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (PLUS) and Elite highways announced on Tuesday.
Besides saying the reduction was too little, they want the 10 per cent discount to be applied during the day as well.

The BNBC chairman, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, said the discount should be a flat discount and it should be extended to all vehicles.

"We are very disappointed with the works minister. He didn't take the toll reduction seriously," Tiong said at the BNBBC office in Parliament yesterday.

PLUS had agreed to lower toll rates for its PLUS and Elite highways by 10 per cent for travel between midnight and 7am, starting Jan 1.
In addition to the 10 per cent discount, the concessionaire will give a further 10 per cent reduction for travel during the same off-peak hours during festive periods such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas.

The discounted rates would apply at the time when a motorist leaves the highway.

Tiong said it was perplexing that the discounted toll rates would only apply for midnight travel and for private vehicles.

"There seems to be no sincerity on the government's part. The reduction should be extended to 24 hours and to everyone."

He said the government and Plus should not use the existing agreement as an excuse not to reduce the toll rates.

Tiong said the government and toll concessionaires should take the global economic downturn into consideration.

"The agreement should be reviewed to create a win-win situation for both parties. A comparison of the projected traffic volume and profit in the agreement with the current statistics should be done.

"I'm sure there is an increase in traffic volume, which means their profit should increase. Then why should the rates not be reduced? There is no loss," Tiong said.

Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) called on three concessionaires to reduce their toll rates in Puchong.

He said the concessionaires -- Damansara-Puchong Expressway, Shah Alam Expressway and New Pantai Expressway -- should reduce the toll to reflect the drop in fuel prices.

"A resident would need to pay an average of RM3.20 a day for single entry and exit to Puchong. For those who make multiple trips, the toll bills add up to RM16 a day."

Gobind gave a projected breakdown of how much the three concessionaires were expected to collect and the period of collection.

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