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New rules clear up any doubts about toll road fees

(Global Times)

08:26, May 09, 2013

Roads whose construction and maintenance are fully covered by the government, or financed by social organizations or individuals, are not allowed to levy toll fees, according to an amendment draft posted by the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday.

The draft, open for public consultation, is to amend the existing regulation on the management of toll roads, which took effect in 2004.

Based on the rule of reasonable returns, a maximum 25 year period is set before a road must remove tolls imposed on vehicles, although this is extended to 30 years for roads in western regions. This can further be extended after national policies on toll exemptions affect the earnings of the road operator.

Military and police vehicles are exempt from tolls when on duty, as are vehicles used for disaster relief efforts.

Punitive measures for the infractions are also clarified, as a fine of up to 500,000 yuan ($81,226) will be issued to those who set up toll booths illegally, without following proper regulations or who change the booth's location.

Besides, those who fail to inspect and maintain roads in accordance with standards and codes will also be punished.

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