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Lawmakers target expressway toll

2015-February-13       Source: Szdaily.com

Guangdong lawmakers from Shenzhen continued to pressure the provincial government to reduce the toll on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway after roughly 10 years of failing to solve the major complaint from businesses and individuals using the expressway.

 

Guangdong lawmakers from Shenzhen continued to pressure the provincial government to reduce the toll on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway after roughly 10 years of failing to solve the major complaint from businesses and individuals using the expressway.

The operators of the expressway, which opened to traffic in 1997, have the right to charge tolls until 2027 under an agreement between the investors and the provincial government. The State-owned Guangdong Expressways Co. Ltd. holds a 52.5 percent stake in the expressway and Hong Kong’s Hopewell Holdings Ltd. holds the rest.

The expressway was built at a cost of 12.2 billion yuan (US$1.95 billion), but has since received 41.1 billion yuan in tolls as of the end of 2012, according to the provincial transportation department. This statistic was presented by Lin Hui, a provincial lawmaker and the executive deputy president of Shenzhen General Chamber of Commerce, during a meeting at the legislature's annual session in Guangzhou on Wednesday.

She said if it is impossible to scrap the toll on the expressway because the government cannot violate the contract, the toll should at least be reduced.

The 122.8-km expressway was one of China's earliest and most profitable freeways. However, it is criticized for its low speed and poor services.

Lin urged the provincial legislature, the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress, to make regulations requiring profitability of expressways to be capped at reasonable levels and to limit the number of years during which investors are allowed to collect tolls.

She said the issue hadn’t been solved over the past decade and it is time Guangdong resorted to legislation to address the issue.

Click 2015 Guangdong Two Session to follow up more information.

 

Editor: Olivia

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