Motorists and commuters have pleaded with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, to intervene and order a reversal of toll increased last week Thursday at the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza, along Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway.
According to them, since the increase, motorists and commuters, and even residents around the area have been going through untold hardship and suffering.
This came as long queues of vehicles persisted, resulting in heavy gridlock along the axis as the concessionaire of the toll gates, Lekki Concession Company Limited, LCC, maintained collection of the newly-introduced toll.
The toll increase took effect from February 1, 2018.
The new toll rates released by LCC are as follows: Commercial transport buses and motorcycles plying the Lekki-Ajah axis pay N100 as against former N80 previously paid. Those with e-tag pay N90, saloon cars and tricycles now pay N200 against former N120 while those with e-tag pay N180; Sport Utility Vehicles, SUV, mini-vans, light pick-up trucks pay N400 and N360 for those with e-tag; non-commercial buses with maximum capacity of 26 seats, pay N1000 and N900 with e-tag; and motorcycles with 200cc capacity and above pay N200 and N180 with e-tag.
The increase which commenced Thursday elicited public outcry from motorists and other concerned citizens in view of the economic hardship being faced by the citizens.
Motorists have been reluctant to pay the fares resulting in serious long queues leading to heavy traffic jam in the area.
However, most of the motorists who spoke to Vanguard threatened to shut down the axis if the toll is not reversed immediately, calling on Governor Ambode to intervene promptly and save the situation from degenerating.
Speaking with Vanguard, a motorist, Mr. Abioudun Olaoye said: “This hike in fares is totally absurd, insensitive, and unacceptable to residents. If they claimed they have consulted widely before the introduction, it is not true. When did they consult with commuters, motorists and the masses.
“We hereby, call on Governor Ambode, to come to our rescue by calling LCC to order and cancel the increment without further delay. This is not what Ambode promised us during campaign. We deserve dividend of democracy and not this hardship.”
Similarly, a resident and commuter along the axis, Mr. Eugene Anthony, while calling on the governor for immediate intervention, described the hike as “ill-timed” and should be considered for downward review with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, at present, more security personnel of the Rapid Response Team, RRS, have been drafted to the area to ensure peace and order is maintained in the area, while men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, are on ground to ensure smooth traffic movement.