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Demerara Harbour Bridge tolls to be increased from Jan 1; PPPC demands withdrawal

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January 1, 2017, immediately sparking off a call by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) for the new fees to be withdrawn.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
Motorcar (private) GYD$100 GYD$200
Motorcar (hire) GYD$100 GYD$200
Four-wheeled drive jeeps GYD$200 No increase
Minibuses GYD$200 No increase
Motor tractor GYD$200 GYD$300
Single axle trailer GYD$200 GYD$300
Double axle trailer GYD$300 No increase
Hearse GYD$100 GYD$300
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.”