PETALING JAYA, Oct 29& — While lauding the Budget proposal to abolish toll for the Federal Highway, residents here are clamouring for other roads linked to the main Kuala Lumpur-Klang transport artery to be toll-free.
Leading the call are residents associations, whose members form the majority of motorists, that want toll collection abolished completely when the concessionaire contracts are up for review.
“We hope highways like the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) would be toll-free once the concessionaire contract comes to an end,” Section 14 Residents Association chairman Selva Sugumaran said.
“The PM’s announcement to discontinue toll charges at four toll plazas in the country is welcome,” he said.
The chairman was commenting on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement during the Buidget that toll collection at the Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau plazas (Selangor), Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) and the Eastern Dispersal Link (Johor) would cease from Jan 1.
“This is a good move and we understand that the concession agreement for the LDP will end soon. When it does, we hope we will not have to pay toll anymore on the LDP,” said Selva.
“This will ease congestion for people going to Klang and Kuala Lumpur and vice versa. It is long overdue and I hope the government will consider removing the toll on the LDP.”
“When the concession agreement ends, the government must do the right thing to return these assets to the people, toll-free,” he said.
My-PJ committee member Esham Salam said: “An agreement between the government and the concessionaire must be respected but we hope no more fees will be collected after the contract ends.
“It is wishful thinking to ask that the Government to abolish the toll before the agreements end, but we will welcome it if it happens.
“Once it ends, we do not want any new construction of highways or tolled roads.”
SS20 Damansara Utama Rukun Tetangga chairman Eileen Thong said it’s been a long time coming.
“The Sprint Highway, LDP are frequent routes we use, it has been a long time we’ve been paying toll,” she said.
“The concessionaire must have collected enough profit as we use the highways every day.
“We hope we won’t have to pay anymore after the contract ends.”
Current toll rates are RM2.10 for LDP, the Sprint Highway costs RM2.50 from the Kerinchi Link and RM3 from the Penchala Link.
A spokesman for the SS7 RA said: “We do not want any new construction of highways or anymore elevated highway upgrades. Leave it as it is and remove the tolls when the concessions end.”
The abolition of tolls at Shah Alam and Sungai Rasau, effective Jan 1, will be a big relief for commuters.
Civil servant, Juliana Andelan, 35, said this should have been done much earlier. The toll collection has contributed to excessive congestion during peak hours from 7am to 10am and from 4pm to 8pm as traffic tends to build up.
The Shah Alam resident who had been using the Sungai Rasau toll plaza for the past 11 years to get to work in Klang and the Batu Tiga Toll Plaza to get to Kuala Lumpur for official business is grateful that toll collection is coming to an end.
“It will ease our financial burden as we have to pay higher fuel prices and also face congestion at the toll plazas,” she told Bernama.
Teacher Mohd Fadzil Ismail, 48, who is also a regular user of the highway, concurred with Juliana saying the people need help to cope with the high cost of living.
At present road users spend RM4.20 a day or RM84 a month to use the Federal Highway.
The toll rate at Batu Tiga is RM1.10 for one way and RM1 (one way) at Sungai Rasau.