talks held to ease motorists burden as tolls on sirat outer ring road to rise from dec 15 - Talks held to ease motorists’ burden as tolls on Sirat Outer ring road to rise from Dec 15

The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) is trying to negotiate, with Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company (BEM), the concessionaire for the Sirat outer ring road expressway, an easing of the burden on motorist from the December 15th rise in tolls, as stipulated in the concession agreement.

The new toll fees will be 65 baht, up from 50 baht for four-wheel vehicles, 105 baht, up from 80 baht for 6-10 wheel vehicles and 150 baht, up from 115 baht for vehicles with more than 10 wheels.

EXAT Governor Surachet Laopoonsook admitted today (Wednesday) that he feels heavy-hearted over this problem because, on the one hand, motorists will be impacted by the increased fees and, on the other, the EXAT is legally bound to comply with the concession agreement.

He said that he has to be very careful to comply with the terms of the agreement, citing the previous bitter experiences of failure to follow the contract.

The EXAT governor said that the Ministry of Transport has expressed serious concerns about the financial impacts on the general public from the rises and has instructed the EXAT to negotiate with BEM to work out mitigation measures, such as postponing the increases or introducing a discount scheme.

He said that not only the general public has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, BEM has also been hard hit, with its revenue falling by almost half, as the number of vehicles using this section of the expressway has dropped.