Sun | Jul 22, 2018

People's Report: Highway toll ranking unfair, senseless

Published:Saturday | April 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Before I delve into my complaint, I must say publicly that I joined with the many positive motorists that the new North Coast Highway, leading from Caymanas Bay to Mammee Bay, is a wonderful solution to us, road users, as it relates to time and wear and tear of your vehicle. Hopefully, after the negotiations are completed, the rate will be reasonable and affordable.

However, I must express my disappointment of being robbed on Monday, April 25, 2016, when I reached the final pay booth towards Mammee Bay. I was travelling from Caymanas to Mammee Bay at about 6:45 a.m., and on reaching the toll booth, I was told that I had to pay J$1,850.

Questioning the toll clerk, she told me my vehicle is a Class 2. I told her I have never paid a Class 2 toll on the highway, and told her I wished to speak to the supervisor.

The supervisor, who was speaking to her from an office across the booth, told her that I have to pay the J$1,850. I told the clerk that, in travelling on the Spanish Town Highway for a long, long time, my vehicle has always been classified as Class 1.

The clerk told the supervisor the type of vehicle, and as if she did not even want to entertain the discussion, the clerk came back to me to say that her supervisor said words to the effect that this is Caymanas, we are different from any other highway, we do not go by the size, but the height of the vehicle.

I drive a Daihatsu Terios, with a 1495cc rating. If you know the size of that vehicle, which is smaller than a medium-size car that is classified as Class 1, you will understand my shock at the clerk's insistence that I pay a Class 2 toll.

In my car, I have a toy mouse hung on my rear-view mirror which I keep to humour myself and others of the size of my vehicle! When I see all those big cars pass me on Monday and pay $900-plus, while in my little vehicle I have to pay $1,850, you have no other thought but to say to yourself that this is truly "criminal".

I am very, very disappointed at being overcharged. The authorities need to look seriously into these classification costs. They make no sense! How on God's earth can a motor car that is larger than a Terios be classified and charged a toll rate of a Class 1, compared to a small Daihatsu Terios, because of height difference? Somebody has gone loony!