In anticipation of increasing and heavy automobile traffic into the country when ASEAN becomes a full single market, the Ministry of Transport is considering to collect tolls on all foreign automobiles entering the country at all border crossings.

The proposal is now being considered by the ministry's Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning at its recent meeting.

The deputy director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Mrs Wilairat Sirisophon-Silpa revealed that a recent Asean Economic Cooperation or AEC conference concluded that greater immigration freedom among its member countries will see higher traffic volume on their respective highway networks.

With Thailand being the popular destination among the AEC, she said the office concluded that the country's highways will become overburdened due to higher vehicular traffic.

Projections are that local and foreign vehicle traffic will exceed 14 million/year which will result in high maintenance and repair costs for the Thai road network, she said.

As such, they have sanctioned a study to charge 4-wheeled vehicles road usage tolls which they say will be completed by the end of the year.

If everything goes on plan, these tolls could be introduced in the latter part of next year, she said

Eight to ten years after this, tolls for other types of vehicles will be considered, she added.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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