Residents of Kasoa and adjoining communities have urged the government to add the collection of tolls to its flagship digitalisation projects.
That, they said, would help ease the burden of vehicular congestion and traffic at the various toll collection points across the country.
They said the policy must be properly thought through before it was fully rolled out.
Sharing their thoughts on the announcement of the reintroduction of the collection of tolls on roads in the country with the Daily Graphic in Accra, they said inasmuch as they were not against the payment of tolls, current conditions on roads in the country did not warrant the collection of tolls.
These, the residents said, included poor street lighting, lack of road signs and markings, poor maintenance and weedy medians.
The residents particularly recalled the gridlock vehicular traffic caused by the tollbooth at the Tuba Junction on the Mallam-Kasoa road and said they were not ready to endure such “punishment” any longer.
“I am not against the payment of road tolls but I want to tell the Roads Minister that I am not ready to stay in any traffic for an hour or more just because I must pay a toll,” Mr Kwesi Amankwah, a resident of Galilea said.
He called on the authorities to relocate the tollbooth from the present location to a place where there would be more toll gates to ease traffic flow.
Mr Amankwah said the current increase in fuel prices did not warrant vehicle users to stay in traffic for that long, adding that “we will resist this policy with all legitimate means”.
A commercial driver, Mr Mark Tetteh, also called on the authorities to fix the perennial flooding on the Kasoa-Mallam stretch of the road, as well as improve lighting and other conditions on the road before the introduction of tolls.
He said drivers who plied their trade on the Accra-Kasoa road had advised themselves and would resist any form of “frustration” the introduction of the toll would bring.
“Master, just look at the silt and sand that is washed down from the hill onto the street just after the tollbooth whenever it rains. We encounter the same situation around the SCC Junction and this has been happening for more than two decades, yet we see no solution in sight. I tell you, we will not allow any payment of tolls on this stretch till these problems are fixed,” he said.
A baker at the Kasoa Market, Madam Ekua Esuon, called on the Roads Minister and the ministry to digitalise the collection of tolls.
She said ever since the collection of tolls was abolished, especially on the Mallam-Kasoa section of the Accra Cape Coast road which she said was notoriously known to be traffic-prone, it had never experienced any gridlock vehicular traffic.
She, therefore, called on engineers in the country to be proactive and advise policy makers against the manual collection of tolls, especially on the Mallam-Kasoa stretch.
Madam Esuon also added her voice to the calls for the relocation of the booth, saying “We will demonstrate if that tollbooths are not moved from its present location.”
Explaining further, a banker and resident of Tuba, Mr Koku Worlanyo, described the tollbooth at the Tuba Junction as a “nuisance” and said it did not make sense to be operating a tollbooth in a community in the 21st century.
He said the delay to pay just GH¢1 caused so much pollution of the environment and fatigue to drivers, while it led to the burning of fuel.
He also called for the relocation of the tollbooths or for them to be operated electronically.