Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
It is being proposed that owners of heavy duty vehicles, including tractors and large trucks, will have to pay an extra fee to use the public roadways because they are destroying the roads, according to officials.
The government is looking to introduce a transportation maintenance fee this year, which will be a fee charged when licensing vehicles.
Mr. Anthony McMaster, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Communications and Works explained to BVI Platinum News that heavy duty vehicles are causing wear and tear to the roads in the Territory.
"You see all the heavy equipment we have around the island, we have issues where persons who are driving tractor vehicles and what's not on the roads, and they are destroying the roads along with other very heavy equipment," he said yesterday, February 16.
The PS further explained, "What we did say to the Ministry of Finance prior, is that we wanted to consider putting in a fee; something similar to a user fee for these heavier vehicles and what's not, which destroy the roads on a continuous basis."
When asked if big trucks which transport concrete and rocks will be included, McMaster said yes, noting that they are still in discussions as to what the fees will be and ironing out other details.
"Even the trucks that transport concrete and stuff like that, because they actually do wear and tear (the roads)...but it's not something that is finalized as yet; it's still in the discussions phase."
Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith has indicated that the new fee will be implemented as a token sum to assist in offsetting the cost to maintain the roads, and that they expect to realize about $170,000.00 from it during this year.
"I think the Premier just wanted to get it out there to start to sensitize people that it is something that is likely to be looked at this year or might come on stream."