However, the toll cut has yet to reach public expectation while the BOT tollbooth has continued halting operation to wait for decision from the Ministry of Transport.
Specifically, the toll will decrease from VND35,000 to VND25,000 for group 1 including less than 12 seater vehicles, less than two ton trucks and buses; from VND50,000 to VND35,000 for group 2 comprising 12-30 seater vehicles, 2-4 ton trucks; from VND60,000 to VND40,000 for group 3 including 31 seater and wider vehicles, 4-10 ton trucks.
The toll will be slashed from VND100,000 to VND70,000 for Group 4 of 10-18 ton trucks and 20 feet container trucks; from VND180,000 to 140,000 for group 5 of 18 ton and heavier trucks and 40 feet container lorries.
The new toll levels will be applied from August 21, 2017.
Owners of vehicles in Groups 1 and 2 who are permanent residents in Phu Nhuan, My Thanh Nam, Binh Phu and Phu An communes in Cai Lay district can travel through the tollgate free of charge. They must not do transport business to enjoy the fee exemption.
The remaining vehicles in the four communes and buses operating in Tien Giang province will see 50 percent reduction. The toll exemption and cut will be effective before September 10 this year.
After knowing the information, drivers and transport firms in the Mekong Delta have disagreed with the toll reduction, saying that the tollbooth should be placed in 12 kilometer Cai Lay bypass road not National Highway 1A where vehicles have already paid road maintenance fee.
A transport expert said that Cai Lay bypass road is separated from another project to fortify road face along 26.5 kilometers of National Highway 1 although they were built by the same investor.
Specifically, the Ministry of Transport permitted the investor to set up the investment project of a road bypassing Cai Lay town on July 28, 2009 at Decision 2174.
The ministry made Decision 3054 to approve the investment project, the bypass’ outline and survey estimates on October 20, 2009.
Meanwhile, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam Road sent Statement No.95 on developing a bypass of National Highway 1A and fortifying the highway face in Cai Lay town under BOT form on December 4, 2013.
Afterwards, the ministry made Decision 4173 to approve the bypass and road face reinforcement project. So the road face fortifying was just a pretext for the investor to place the BOT tollbooth in the national highway, said the expert.
Replying to the press, the Ministry of Transport still affirmed that the tollbooth position is in accordance with the law.
Citing Circular 159 by the Ministry of Finance that toll stations must be built in the scope of projects, Mr. Nguyen Danh Huy, head of Public Private Partnership Projects Management Board under the Ministry of Transport said that Cai Lay tollbooth locates within the scope of the project.