News

Pay or use ‘The road where death lives’

Several motorists have lost their concession status at the Middelburg Toll Plaza after Trac made a decision that it has been far too lenient, at a great cost to the company.

Gary Baldwin said he has resided in Middelburg for years. He recalled how residents protested against the position of the toll gate, between Middelburg and eMalahleni, as many residents commute between the two towns.

“They agreed that we would have a concession. Now there are rules on the amount of travel and we end up losing the concession,” Mr Baldwin wrote.
He said that residents are being ripped off and should stand up against Trac.

Also read: Toll gate concession confusion

Another resident, a business owner who did not want his name published, said that he has learnt that where all the vehicles in his business belonged to one concession, they now each have to make the required 30 trips per month to avoid being downgraded.
“Some of my vehicles do 20 trips a month but not 30. They have now lost their concession,” the business owner complained.

Trac spokesperson, Solange Soares-Nicolson, said that Trac started downgrading individual tags within concession accounts that do not meet the required amount of trips from 9 July 2018. She said that all concession holders were made aware of this via an SMS.
“We are not tightening the screws. We are simply applying a policy which has always existed, but has not been adhered to.”

Ms Soares-Nicolson said it would be “unfair to road users who meet the required amount of trips and compromise road users, especially local business owners” to downgrade an entire account and therefor individual vehicles in a fleet can now be disqualified.

Also read: Trac continues its support of GTR

•Anna-Marth Ott, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in Middelburg, disagrees. The Chamber posted on Facebook in 2015 already stating that the Middelburg Toll Plaza is a burden on local businesses and does not contribute to the local economy in any way.
Ms Soares-Nicholson said that Trac has an E-Learning programme supports 500 students in the Highveld region, that they sponsor the Loskop Marathon and Greatest Train Race, that they support Phumela School in Middelburg as well as the healthcare internship programme at the SAFV old-age home.

•A poll on the Facebook group ‘Middelburg/Witbank residents against Trac Middelburg Plaza‘ asked if Trac is assisting local communities along the N4. 100 % voted ‘no’.

Ms Soares-Nicolson said that motorists who are unhappy with the toll fees are more than welcome to use the alternative route, the R555 (Old Witbank road).

The R555 has recently been dubbed ‘The road where death lives’ by the Witbank News, after a pregnant woman was one of six people who lost their lives in a head-on collision on 2 July. It was reported that several accidents occur on a weekly basis, often claiming the lives of motorists.

In what is becoming a worrying trend, it is the poor who suffer most, in being forced to use the R555 whilst only those able to afford forking out the R118 for a round trip to eMalahleni are allowed to use the N4.

 

Other News:

At the forefront of the battle against global warming

Four armed robberies in one week

Armed suspects hit again

Taxi passengers injured in collision

 

 

 

Want breaking news on the go?

• Save our standby number (072 248 3855) and send us a WhatsApp message with the words “Add me” to be added to our broadcast list.

• Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

• Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

• Click on the link to subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Have a news tip?

Contact our news room on our 24 hr standby number 072 248 3855, or send a mail to our editor tobie@mobserver.co.za

 
Back to top button