Alliance of Drivers, Ghana, a registered and recognised transport union operating in the country, is calling on the government to remove all toll-booths on our roads and instead introduce toll levy.
According to the group, the toll-booths create inconvenience for motorists and productive time is lost due to the hours drivers and commuters spend at these toll-booths.
Mr Amissah Arthur, Central Regional Secretary of the union, who addressed a news conference at the Kasoa Toll-booth recently, indicated that the introduction of toll levy would also help government to block revenue leakage.
“The toll-booth has become one of the major causes of massive road traffic in the country. As you can see, the Kasoa toll-booth alone is capable of keeping a driver in traffic for more than half an hour.
“The inconveniences created are really unbearable. The petrol we consume in traffic is sometimes overwhelming. We have a strong conviction that when removed, it will tremendously reduce road traffic,” he said.
According to him, reports the group has gathered suggests that some workers at the toll-booths sometimes embezzle funds, alleging “the only body exempted from paying toll per the Toll Roads Act are the emergency services, but many drivers don’t pay when they get to the toll-booth.
“Some drivers also don’t pay road tolls because of familiarity with the toll collectors. Monies collected at the tollbooth are meant for the state and not for private individuals. Hence, we are appealing to you to help us cure this by ending these toll-booths with immediate effect,” he said.
Mr Amissah Arthur contended that aside the inconveniences, drivers are overburdened with the number of toll booths that they have to encounter on their journeys.
“When the toll-booth is removed, it will have a significant reduction on the financial burden of the ordinary driver,” he said, adding that while government is plugging revenue leakages, drivers could also breathe a sigh of relief.
He added that the group has submitted a proposal to the government to consider the toll levy on petrol and take away the toll fees, as it is becoming a burden rather than a relief.
The Secretary also used the occasion to urge the public to be circumspect when discussing issues of fuel pricing at the pump.
In his view, discussions on fuel prices must centre more on proffering solutions to the problem than attacking the government of the day.
“We are deeply saddened by the recent hikes in petroleum prices. Frankly speaking, the current happenings are unbearable, there have been numerous threats of strike action from strong institutions such as COPEC and other driver unions. We honestly don’t wish for this that is why we are calling on all Ghanaians to handle this matter constructively, devoid of politics,” he said