Statement by

Minister of Transport and Works

 Post-Cabinet Press Briefing

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In keeping with the Concession Agreement which was signed on November 21, 2001 between the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC), an Agency of the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) as the Grantor, and TransJamaican Highway Limited (TJH) as the Developer of the Highway 2000 network, a very welcome bit of news has arisen in respect of toll rates for the year 2010/2011.

This has resulted from, among other things, a decision by Transjamaican Highway Limited not to seek any change to the current toll tariffs for the period 2010/2011 for the following legs of Highway 2000:

1.     Kingston to Bushy Park (The Vineyards Toll Plaza)

2.     Kingston to Spanish Town (The Spanish Town Toll Plaza)

3.     Portmore (The Portmore Toll Plaza)

BACKGROUND

The decision followed a revision of the Toll Policy in 2008, with approval by Cabinet for the revision of the Toll Tariffs to be done once per year instead of the twice per year provision before, in circumstances where the average annualised inflation rate for the proceeding period does not exceed 25 per cent per annum. The change formed part of the revised Tolling Policy and met Clause 22 and Schedule 15 of the Concession Agreement. Earlier this year, the Cabinet, in deliberations over the matter, noted that the increase in toll tariff last year had exceeded the national inflation rate. That factor was brought to bear on the decision that was ultimately taken by TransJamaican Highway Limited

TOLL TARIFF REVIEW

Transjamaican Highway Limited, by way of letter dated April 30, 2010, referred to the Tolling Policy Agreement dated June 2008 and advised the Toll Regulator that they would not be seeking any change to the current toll tariffs for the three (3) Toll Plazas for 2010/2011, based on the following:

In 2009, the implemented tariffs were above the local inflation rate.

There is now a lower ‘willingness to pay’ tolls, due to the ongoing economic recession, which has resulted in a decline in the traffic and revenue on the toll roads.

The Developer has further advised that the frequent user discount scheme currently in operation at the Portmore Toll Plaza will be extended in the near future to their customers at the Spanish Town Toll Plaza.

The Toll Regulator subsequently advised me of TransJamaican Highway Limited’s decision not to seek an increase in the toll tariffs for 2010/2011.

Given the economic hardships facing the country at this time, the decision of TransJamaican Highway Limited not to seek to adjust the toll tariffs at the three (3) Toll Plazas for 2010/2011, in keeping with the Tolling Policy Agreement, has been very well received by the Ministry, and I am sure the motoring public in general will likewise appreciate the relief from any additional expenses related to activities on the roadways.

L. Michael Henry CD, MP

Minister of Transport and Works