Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Toll woes - a rant

For those of you not living in Gauteng, let me explain that we're about to get all our freeways tolled in this tiny little economic hub of a province (they'll have to change that name - payways instead of freeways, maybe?).

If I visit my folks in Pretoria during a weekday from June when this comes into play, a round trip will cost me more than R50 just in toll fees! For all you lucky Jozi dwellers, check out this toll calculator to find out how much your trips will cost you.

I don't have a problem with tolling our roads if it's going to mean they're kept in great condition. But if you live in Joburg, you'll know that it's difficult to get from point A to point B without using the freeway at some point. It's a big city that's really spread out. And at an estimated cost of 56c per kilometre, the costs will add up very quickly for residents of the province. This is going to cost courier companies a fortune, and, in fact, impact on the price of all goods that travel by road (which is most of them in SA, seeing our railway system is currently really poor).

Back roads, which are already pothole ridden, will worsen as people try to avoid the highway tolls. We'll also have to pay for the special e-tag or number plates for our vehicles, which is another cost to consider.

I know this has all been said before, but it hadn't really hit home for me until I used the toll calculator and saw how much it's actually going to affect me. Seriously considering signing the petition against the current proposed costs.

What are your thoughts?

Also, just so you know, Blogger is not letting me comment on any blogs. Keeps telling me it's a "bad request" when I submit in the comment form. So, Phillygirl, Cam etc... I am reading, but can't comment.


Hayley said...

I use the highways everyday to and from work...its going to cost me a fortune.
I agree...I have no problem with them tolling the roads, they can even charge what they long as we have a safe and reliable public transport system that we can use as an alternative...which we so don't have!
At least I will have the Gautrain to use, but that only helps a small percentage of the population.
I will be signing the petition...

Cam said...

My last comment just evaporated?!

As I was saying, I completely agree with you, Tam!

If we had decent public transport - and I mean decent as in London Tube decent - then fine, there's an alternative. But this is really crazy for those who have to use it everyday with no buses or trains!

Helen said...

I'm just relieved that the M1 is still free (for now) so I only have to pay R5.68 per day on my way to work.

I guess if the traffic gets better I might be a bit more open-minded, but it does make me sad that we will have to start thinking about routes rather than just jumping on the highway.

I agree with Cam too - without reliable public transport its a bit unfair to charge us for driving, particularly when everything's so far apart.

boldly benny said...

Hi lady, sheesh sounds like you have a lot going on - family drama (which is always tough not to take on), toll roads and plenty decisions.

Thinking of you and hope you get to breath a little easier soon.

Steve Hayes said...

Don't take it lying down. Let me know what you think of this idea Notes from underground: Vote with your wheels.

Angel said...

I know there have been some developments on the toll front, but I'm not sure whats potting right now. Not having to drive to work every day will help me a lot... but it will affect the cost of my cupcake deliveries. :(