BECL seeks tollway hike

Bangkok Expressway Plc (BECL) has submitted a proposal seeking to raise expressway tolls by at least 5 baht on Sept 1.

Under its concession contract, BECL is allowed to raise tolls every five years based on inflation. The last toll increase was in September 2008.

Aiyanat Tinapai, governor of the Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (Exat), said the proposed increase was based on the consumer price index in March.

He said Exat has yet to consider the proposal and has not asked the Office of Attorney-General for a review.

The toll increase proposal will probably be finalised in August and then submitted to the Transport Ministry for approval, he said.

BECL managing director Payao Marittanaporn said BECL has proposed the toll for the first-stage expressway in inner Bangkok to rise from 45 to 50 baht for four-wheel vehicles; from 70 to 80 baht for vehicles with six to 10 wheels; and from 100 to 115 baht for vehicles with more than 10 wheels.

The toll increase proposal must be finalised in August to make sure the new toll takes effect on Sept 1, she said.

Mr Aiyanat said the concession for the first-stage and second-stage expressways with BECL will expire in nine years.

The contract requires Exat to attempt to renegotiate with the operator before seeking an alternative deal.

The Transport Ministry's policy will determine whether it wants Exat to take over the operation or to continue with the current arrangement, he said.

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Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook
Position: Reporter