ON Tuesday the Cabinet approved the introduction of urban road tolls for the three bypasses that are about to be built in Nairobi as well as a raised highway that will run from Nyayo Stadium to Westlands roundabout.
This positive development should be applauded by all road users. The Gilgil road toll was abandoned some years ago in favour of a general road levy but that was a monopoly. The Gilgil toll could not be avoided by anyone travelling to western Kenya and Central Africa.
The Nairobi bypass road tolls will be optional. Road users will have the choice between paying to travel on the rapid bypass or. using the old congested roads. It will therefore create more choice in the Kenyan economy.
The tolls do not need to delay traffic either So long as they are automated and can accept coins, traffic will flow swiftly through the toll stations, as it does in France, USA and other countries charging road users.
If the Nairobi experiment is a success, as it surely will be, it will open up the possibility of public-private premierships where useful new roads can be built by the private sector who will then recover their investment from tolls on the road users.