Roads and Transport Committee urges end to Tema Motorway toll boycott

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Parliament’s Roads and Transport Committee is urging motorists using the Tema Motorway to put an end to a boycott that has led to the non-payment of tolls on the stretch.

A number of motorists plying the motorway have taken on the challenge where they film themselves refusing to pay the tolls when asked by the attendants.

They share the videos on social media urging other motorists who use the highway to do same. Their behaviour is in response to the gaping holes on the motorway which has resulted in many accidents.

Many have lost their lives, others have sustained life-threatening injuries yet it appears calls on government to fix the deplorable state of the 19-kilometre stretch is not hitting home.

motorway-potholesThe Motorway forms an integral part of the Trans-Africa Highway, stretching from Lagos through Lomé, Accra, and Abidjan to Dakar, and effectively serves as the junction to the Sub-region.

With about 30,000 vehicles plying the highway and some ¢30,000 paid each day at the 12 toll booths on the stretch, motorists are surprised over government’s inability to use the ¢200,000 it accrues in revenue each week to fix it.

Some Ghanaians who ply the road daily are tired of government’s nonchalant attitude and its refusal to address the situation. They have, in turn, refused to pay tolls.

Last week, a man filmed an encounter with a toll booth attendant in which he refused to pay the toll when he got to that section of the motorway.

He told the attendant “Madam, you have to fix the road…you have to fix the road,” she responded by saying, “we will fix it.”

But the man whose face did not show in the video, apparently tired of hearing same promise over and over again said, “I would start paying the toll when I see the roads fixed.” With that, he drove off.

Apparently, parliament’s Roads and Transport Committee is unhappy with the development.

Ranking Member on the Committee, Kwame Agbodza said motorists who refuse to pay the tolls are flouting the law.

motorway-potholes

“We must all be ready to abide by the laws of the country. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to get to the toll booth and decide not to pay,” he said.

Mr Agbodza empathised with motorists and urged the sector minister to refocus attention to fixing the motorway.

He claims a proposal for a six-lane project to completely rebuilt the motorway has been ignored by government.

“It was this government that came and said they were not interested in that proposal. Now they have gone to find a transaction advisor and that process is going to take a longer period of time.”

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