Wednesday, 9 February 2011

News briefs on tolls Jan/Feb 2011

South Devon Link Road will not be tolled: According to ThisIsSouthDevon, the Torbay and Devon County Councils have decided to use higher local property taxes rather than tolls to progress the A380 South Devon Link Road, contrary to earlier reports that tolling was being considered.  An extra £20.5 million will be contributed, and the capital cost is being reduced by scaling down the project.  The rest of the cost is to be sought, again, from central government on the basis that it is a high value project with a far lower central government contribution.

Sale of shares in Portuguese toll road company: According to Reuters, "Spanish savings bank Nova Caixa Galicia said it had sold its entire 2 percent stake in toll road operator Brisa for 68.4 million euros ($93.37 million). Brisa's other shareholders include Spanish road operator Abertis, which holds 15.2 percent of its Portuguese counterpart and has said the stake is a financial holding. Abertis recently sold its 6.7 percent stake in Italian toll road operator Atlantia".  Given the recession in Portugal, I am not surprised at the desire to bail out of toll roads when demand in that economy is deeply depressed.  Toll roads on the Iberian peninsula are likely to be

Filipino toll road network continues to expand according to major concessionaire: ABS/CBN reports that Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (MPTC) will press ahead with Segments 9 and 10 of the North Luzon Expressway Phase 2 project.  Segment 9 will connect the McArthur Highway in Valenzuela all the way to Nlex while segment 10 will link the same highway to Port Area in Manila. The cost will be 10 billion Filipino peso (US$229 million).

The two projects span 8.5 kilometers. Segment 9 aims to ease access to McArthur Highway, the old route to central and northern Luzon while Segment 10 will dramatically speed up the transport of goods to and from Manila’s North Harbor.

MPTC controls the concession to the 84-kilometer (km) Nlex and holds the contract to operate and maintain the 94-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

Tolling has been a key source of funding of the Filipino highway network and there appears to be little let up in the appetite for, and viability of new toll roads in the Philippines.

Manila Skyway toll restructure: Manila's major urban elevated highway, the Skyway toll road is to get its toll schedule restructured to better reflect distance travelled on its segments.  The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that the concessionaire, Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp, will be increasing some and reducing other tolls on the route. Last year, the company opened a new three-kilometer section of Skyway from Bicutan to Sucat. Motorists have been allowed to use the new section for free up till now.

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