Saudi eyes road tolls from 2020

The kingdom is studying plans to charge motorists for using major highways



Saudi Arabia’s minister of transport has confirmed the kingdom is studying plans to implement road tolls across the kingdom, according to reports.

Nabil Al-Amoudi told Arabic publication Makkah that six roads had been identified to start charging fees from 2020.

The imposition of fees will be submitted to the high commissioner for approval after the completion of the current study, according to the publication.

The exact roads that could be affected and pricing structure for the system was not disclosed.

The tolls come under wider privatisation plans for the transport sector as the kingdom undertakes a number of mega projects to expand its infrastructure.

Al-Amoudi was speaking on the sidelines of an event where nine road projects worth SAR1.5bn ($400m) were approved in the Eastern Province.

He said a technical study into a new causeway linking the kingdom and Bahrian would be completed next week and “appropriate” investment options would be considered including public private partnerships.

A tender for technical, legal and financial consulting on the project was launched two weeks ago.

The official also confirmed a further 37 road projects worth SAR3.5bn ($932.8m) were in the works in Dammam and the surrounding region, while preventative maintenance was costing the kingdom SAR1.7bn ($453m).

Dubai is currently the only GCC city to have road tolls in effect under its Salik system, which charges Dhs4 ($1) per gate crossed. The city uses the proceeds to pay for transport infrastructure and other projects.

Read: New salik toll gate begins operations in Dubai

Abu Dhabi has also installed toll gates across its road network but has yet to begin charging motorists.

Read: Abu Dhabi to introduce road tolls