Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan has approved the payment of 18 different categories of tolls to be paid to the Linden Town Council (LTC) for the use of its roads.
The tolls, ranging between G$2000 and G$7000, were approved by Minister Bulkan, bringing into effect the Linden Town Council (Toll) By-Laws 2016, making the collection of tolls from vehicles traversing the roads into a statute.
The decision by Minister Bulkan stems from an earlier resolution of the LTC to impose the tolls to be charged at specified locations.
The by-laws, as set out by Minister Bulkan, caters for cars, minibuses, canters traversing the road with goods for sale, in addition to those laden with fuel and lumber.
The decision to saddle the business community with additional overhead expense in their operations comes out of a resolution the LTC made in July.
The resolution was approved by Minister Bulkan last Thursday and the information has since been officially gazetted.
The by-laws introduced by Minister Bulkan not only impose the need for the payment of the tolls, but creates offences should this new regime be breached.
According to the by-laws, “Every vehicle specified in the schedule shall stop at a paying point at the toll station and the owner or person in charge of the vehicle shall pay in the full corresponding toll for the vehicle to the toll collector in local currency.” The fees are as follows:
Car with goods for sale
Minibuses with goods for sale
Small canters with goods for sale
Large canters with goods for sale
Lumber trucks with boards
Pick-Ups and 4x4s with materials
Trailers with boards
Trucks with scrap iron
Timber trucks with logs
Trailers with logs
Trucks with road building materials
Trucks with fuel
Haulers with machines
Under the newly approved by-laws, the Council, subject to the approval of the Minister, will be able to amend the schedule to add or remove categories of vehicles to be included.
The tolls to be charged under the by-laws will not exclude persons living in Linden, though there is accommodation.
According to the gazetted by-laws, the affected vehicles that are registered in the name of a person living in Linden shall pay a toll determined by the Council twice a year in January and July.
Vehicles which had been identified to attract a toll, but are transporting essential supplies for the Government, shall be exempted by the Council from the payment of each toll upon notification and certification by the Regional Democratic Council of the vehicle to the Council.
Meanwhile, offences for the refusal of the payment of tolls have been created under the by-laws for breach of the payment of tolls and also makes provision for the detention of the vehicle of a delinquent road user.
According to the by-laws, in addition to the penalties imposed for refusing to pay, “the toll collector, in the event that a toll demanded is not honoured, may impound the vehicle and release the vehicle after the sum has been paid in full.”
Additionally, the toll collector or the designated officer may release information to the Council or Town Constabulary on any vehicle in respect of number plate, colour, make, type or model, or in respect of any person passing through the toll station and the information shall be confidential, according to the by-laws.