Tolling policy causing roads decay - AA

Tolling policy causing roads decay - AA

2014-11-17 10:52

Johannesburg - South Africa cannot continue to pamper a minority of tolled arterials, while under-funded provincial and urban feeder routes are exposed to accelerated deterioration, warned the Automobile Association (AA) on Monday.

The association is of the opinion that South Africa's tolling-orientated road funding approach is accelerating the decay of non-tolled roads, causing increased crash risk on the latter as a result of traffic trying to avoid tolls.

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"We need to move beyond tolling and develop more cost-effective ways to maximise the economic potential of roads and ensure safe road travel across the Republic," said the AA.

It referred to its research, which showed the general state of South Africa's roads was below standard.

"In 2010, we wrote to then Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan to raise our concern that municipalities were spending money destined for roads maintenance on other things," the AA said in a statement.

"Minister Gordhan replied that, although municipalities had been advised to use these funds for roads 'where possible', they could not be compelled to do so."

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The AA is of the opinion that inadequate municipal road funding was repeated at provincial level, leading to many roads being in such poor conditions that they were dangerous to use.

"A change of policy is needed, but it appears to suit government's tolling-focused agenda to leave the second- and third-tier roads to decay in order to increase traffic on tolled routes," said the AA.

The association commented that all roads had economic benefit, whether a municipal street, a provincial road or a freeway and that for a person or company to be able to use a freeway, access was required via safe, well-maintained feeder routes.

"The poor road conditions in many parts of the country work against this and we hold the view that major arterials - whether tolled or not - do not provide economic growth in isolation - it is an area's road network as a whole which delivers the benefit," said the AA.  

The association also said motorists' inability to oppose the spread of national tolled roads since the 1980s seemed to have led government and Sanral to the false belief that tolling could also expand to commuter routes without resistance.

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  • Konstabel Koekemoer - 2014-11-17 11:28

    Road tolling should be abolished all over SA as taxes and levies are a much more efficient way to fund roads. The only exception where I think tolls could be justified are very expensive projects like large bridges, tunnels or mountain passes which cost a huge amount of money to construct and result in a significant saving of time and money for motorists. But the toll tariff should only be used to pay for the construction and maintenance of that particular project and not to fund other roads.

      Kiss123 - 2014-11-17 12:11

      Konstable you are correct however ..municipals and local provinces are not underfunded , they just simply steal the money . Parys got 2 mil for road works ..ZERO happened , money gone gone gone. So stop talking crap AA. This happens everywhere in SA .

      Made-inthe South - 2014-11-17 13:42

      There was enough money to build 2 untolled roads to Nkandla in the last 5 years,cost more than R500 Million

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