Confusion rocks new road tolls


The new road tolls introduced on Monday triggered standoffs at various points creating unsightly scenes at some places.

Most commuters were enraged and criticized the “exorbitant increase” in road tolls, which saw most fees attracting over 500 per cent increment. For instance, motorists who initially paid GH¢0.8p would now pay as much as GH¢1.

Whilst some commercial drivers simply parked their cars, others staged demonstrations amidst burning of lorry tyres in the middle of the road to register their disapproval of the new rates.

Some drivers, who also saw the new charges as “painful” to pay, resorted to cashing in on stranded passengers as they charged double fares to leverage their own cost.

“They thought we will be the one to suffer; it is rather going to affect the passengers,” a driver retorted in an interview with Joy News’ Sammy Darko at the Accra-Kasoa toll booth.

To avoid paying the toll, a number of drivers dropped their passengers mid-way the journey.

Some disgruntled drivers intentionally paid the tolls with high notes just to frustrate the toll booth attendants who could not readily offer change. In addition, they had to endure insults from both drivers and passengers.

“I noticed the driver of a Nissan saloon car handing over GH¢50 just to pay a toll of 50 pesewas,” Sammy Darko recalled.

However, the chaotic scene caused by disgusted drivers was brought to normalcy, thanks to the timely intervention of the commander of police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU).

ACP Daniel Avorga noted: “We appealled to their conscience and good sense as Ghanaians. When we started complaining about the tyres and the cost of building one asphalt kilometer, [which] is so expensive, when they realized [the repercussion], they themselves helped us to put out the fire.”

According to Kofi Adoma of Adom FM, who monitored the situation at the Adomi Bridge, said angry drivers, around Atimpoku and its environs, simply parked their cars in the middle of the road.

Kwabena Poku the local union taxi chairman stressed: “We are going to park them (cars) until the time we see government reducing the toll which is very high.”

He suggested 25p as the new toll, “that would be normal, we like it that way”.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Roads and Highway, Joe Gidisu, has appealed to motorists to remain calm, and explained the rationale for the price hike.

He promised motorist would have value for the new tolls.

“Regular users of the motorway could pay for the tolls in advance for the week, two weeks, per month, the quarter of the year, half yearly or even annually. By way of this, there would be rebate on these charges with the regular users.

“But for now these are the challenges we have on hand. But at the end of the day, we will want to assure them that we have improved services. The apprehension is coming or has been compounded from the fact that our roads have not seen any effective improvement over the years.”