More research needed before toll abolishment – minister

The government is currently studying alternative plans for the Gombak-Bentong highway in efforts to ease congestion at the Gombak toll plaza, the New Straits Times reports.

The particular stretch can get especially congested during the festive seasons, and a plan to upgrade the existing road has been mooted. Works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said: “Based on observations, the congestion at the Gombak toll plaza (KL bound) is caused by the backflow from the MRR2 (Middle Ring Road 2) towards Gombak, Batu Caves, which in turn causes bottleneck at the toll plaza.”

“Meanwhile, the traffic towards Ampang is no longer congested following the road widening project by the public works department.” Fadillah said the toll’s full traffic capacity currently stands at 158,000 vehicles, with an average of 126,000 cars plying the route during peak hours. On festive occasions, the figure soars to 180,000, or sometimes even 200,000 cars.

Fadillah said the study would take into consideration the return of investment, which also covered the environmental and social impact assessment. When asked if there are plans to address the congestion problem, he said the works ministry has reviewed various factors, including the implications of toll abolishment, especially on the financial aspect. A cabinet memorandum relating to the matter would be submitted for approval.

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