Motorists crossing the Demerara Harbour Bridge will now have to pay between 100 and 300 percent increase in tolls from January 1, 2017, immediately sparking off a call by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) for the new fees to be withdrawn.
“The Office of the Leader of the Opposition views the astronomical increases in the tolls to cross the Demerara Harbor Bridge as most cruel, crass and insensitive. This measure will add to the nearly 200 odd measures, which have been imposed upon the backs of the Guyanese people in the year 2016. We have no doubt, that this increase will multiply the hardships and sufferings, which the Guyanese population will have to endure in 2017 and beyond,” Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo’s office said in a statement.
Jagdeo’s office added: “We call upon the government to immediately rescind these proposed increases in tolls for the Demerara Harbor Bridge and we say to the government, that you have taxed the people of Guyana enough for the year.”
After PPPC parliamentarian Komal Chand questioned whether the Demerara Harbour Bridge would be self-financing because the subsidy has been reduced from GYD$150 million last year to GYD$2 million this year, Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson listed the increases.
|Vehicle||Current Toll||New Toll|
|Motorcycle||GYD$ 20||GYD$ 40|
|Four-wheeled drive jeeps||GYD$200||No increase|
|Single axle trailer||GYD$200||GYD$300|
|Double axle trailer||GYD$300||No increase|
|Goods vehicle up to 2,200 pounds||GYD$100||GYD$400|
|Goods vehicle up to 4,400 pounds||GYD$200||GYD$400|
|Motor lorry 1||GYD$500||GYD$700|
|Motor lorry 3||GYD$600||GYD$700|
Ferguson said the Demerara Harbour Bridge’s new toll for motorcycles is expected to yield revenue of GYD$ 8,702,440. She did not give projected revenues from the other categories of vehicles.
Responding to another question by PPPC parliamentarian, Juan Edghill, she said an announcement would have been made before the end of this week.
Calling the announced Demerara Habour Bridge tolls “another broadside from the government,” the Opposition Leader’s Office accused government of attempting to hide the increased tariffs. “The manner in which the government concealed this measure from the public is equally reprehensible. This vital information was reluctantly disclosed in the Committee of Supply after intense scrutiny and questioning by our members of Parliament.”