PUTRAJAYA: Motorists are spared from having to pay higher tolls next year – thanks to the federal government’s freeze on rate hikes for 21 highways.
The Cabinet’s decision on Dec 12 will affect concessionaires eligible for toll increases next year and is an addition to a previous announcement under Budget 2019 for a freeze on toll hikes for intra-city tolls.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the freeze would incur the government an estimated RM972.75mil in compensation to the concessionaires.
If the concessionaires had been allowed to increase the toll rates next year, motorists would have to fork out additional payment of between 20 sen and RM1.
For example, Class 1 vehicles using the Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) will have to pay 50 sen more at RM2.50, Damansara Puchong Highway (LDP) from RM2.10 to RM3.10 and the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh) from RM2.50 to RM3.50.
Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE) users will have to fork out 80 sen more from RM2.50 currently while motorists exiting at the Putrajaya toll on the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya Highway (MEX) would have to pay RM1.40 more – from RM3.50 to RM4.90.
Lim said the Cabinet had also agreed to freeze toll hikes for Class 5 vehicles or buses on eight highways, costing the government RM1.68mil in compensation.
The highways are Cheras-Kajang (Grandsaga), Kuala Lumpur-Karak (LKL), Kemuning-Shah Alam (LKSA), Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR), Kajang Dispersal Link (Silk), KL-Kuala Selangor (Latar), New Pantai Expressway (NPE) and Sprint.
An earlier announcement to abolish toll for motorcyclists on the Penang Bridge and the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge in Penang as well as the Second Link in Johor, said Lim, would cost about RM20mil annually in compensation effective Jan 1.
In total, the compensation for the three initiatives comes up to RM994.43mil.
“The comprehensive toll hike freeze is an ongoing effort by the Pakatan Harapan government to alleviate the burden of rising living costs.
“The government is studying the best method to fulfil its general election promise as stated in Buku Harapan. The toll hike freeze is part of these efforts,” he said.