Fees reduced on over half of Vietnam’s toll roads

Wednesday, 2017-09-27 16:44:06
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NDO - Investors have cut the toll fees charged at 31 out of the 55 current toll roads in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

Out of the remaining 24 toll stations, 18 have already collected fees at lower rates than regulated and six have kept their charges unchanged, as the MOT and the investors have yet to reach an agreement.

In recent months, high toll fees on road projects constructed under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts have come into the public spotlight, as many protests have taken place throughout the country.

Drivers objected to the high fees and improperly placed toll stations by using small-denomination money to pay the fees, causing severe congestion at many toll stations, which has forced the MOT to review its BOT policy.

According to Nguyen Van Huyen, head of the MOT’s Directorate for Roads, his agency is working with investors to reach an agreement on fee reductions for local residents living near toll stations as well as for other vehicles.

He elaborated that the negotiations are expected to be finalised in October and the fee reduction scheme will be submitted to the MOT for approval before it is officially implemented in November.

MOT Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong stated that the toll fee review is being conducted based on the specific assessments of each project, its financial plan and actual traffic so that the interests of both road users and investors can be harmonised.

The Directorate for Roads has given an estimation that a truck of the largest type travelling from Lang Son to Bac Lieu on National Highway 1 has to pay a total of VND4.54 million (about US$200) across 29 different toll stations.

According to a report released by the Government Inspectorate, BOT projects have helped to reduce the pressure on the State budget but there are also numerous irregularities that have been discovered during the implementation of these projects, including the selection of investors and project cost assessment.