KUALA TERENGGANU: Motorists using the East Coast Highway 2 (LPT2) have begun paying toll charges just past midnight, today.
The RM4.1 billion, 184-kilometre LPT2, which connects Jabor in Pahang to Kampung Gemuruh in Terengganu, had been open since January 2015 and was toll-free.
The Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) has given Lebuhraya Pantai Timur 2 Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Plus Berhad, the concession rights to collect toll and maintain the dual-direction, four-lane LPT2.
The LPT2 enables motorists to travel between Kuala Terengganu and Kemaman in 90 minutes, and between Kuala Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur in four hours.
The LPT2 is an extension to the 169km LPT1 that connects Kuantan to Karak, which in turn joins the Karak-Kuala Lumpur highway with toll plazas in Karak and Bentong in Pahang and Gombak in Selangor.
The volume of traffic passing through the LPT2 appeared normal although many motorists expressed their desire to use the toll-free coastal road for internal travel within Terengganu.
MHA director-general Datuk Ismail Md Salleh said the toll rate was 12 sen per kilometer for Class 1 vehicles with two axles (cars and light automobiles).
The toll rate for Class 2 (heavy vehicles) is 24 sen per km, Class 3 (very heavy vehicles like trailers) 36 sen per km, Class 4 (taxis) six sen per km and Class 5 (buses) 12 sen per km.
A single journey from the Kuala Terengganu toll plaza in Gemuroh to Karak will cost RM43.30 for a Class 1 vehicle.
The rate at the Bentong toll plaza is RM3.50 and Gombak is RM6 for Class 1 - meaning an entire journey from Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur will cost RM52.80.
There are 10 toll plazas along the LPT2 in Terengganu at Cheneh, Chukai, Kijal, Kerteh, Paka. Kuala Dungun, Bukit Besi, Ajil, Telemong and Kuala Terengganu.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Infrastructure, Public Amenities and Green Technology Committee chairman Ir Rosli Othman defended the Cabinet’s decision to implement toll collection from today.
“It was not a hasty decision but one that took into account the operational and maintenance costs.
“Toll collection will enable more comprehensive facilities like mobile vehicles to patrol the highway, improve amenities at rest and recreation lay-bys and provide other facilites for the comfort and convenience of motorists,” he said.