Six new toll roads will be introduced.

Already stretched financially by the recent petrol price increases, motorists will be coughing up even more when six new toll roads are introduced in Gauteng.

The toll roads are expected to be operational by 2010.

The South African National Roads Agency announced yesterday that the toll road project, which is part of the Freeway Improvement Scheme, was gazetted on Friday.

The agency’s toll and traffic manager, Alex van Niekerk, said the cost to motorists for using the toll roads would be about 50c/km .

However, the Automobile Association’s spokesman, Gary Ronald, said the cost could be more.

“The motorist is being milked once again to provide infrastructure. This should have been planned 10 to 15 years ago. It is costly to build roads and implementing this [project] will make it more than 50c/km .”

Ronald said the association objected to the toll roads because research had showed that they were not effective in inner-city and peri-urban environments .

“In areas where there are toll [roads], motorists use alternative routes through the suburbs. This puts a lot of pressure on roads that are not meant for such traffic volumes,” he said.

Ronald said alternatives sources of funding should be found.

“Government should foot the bill for this [project] and use its funds. The additional 11c fuel levy should be utilised.

“Motorists can’t afford this. There are more than enough costs associated with motoring.”

Van Niekerk said no toll booths would be erected on high ways, and instead the motorists’ costs would be billed electronically.

He said: “ Electronic equipment hoisted on steel overhead structures will read numberplates.”

The affected highways include the N1 from Soweto to Pretoria, the N3 from Vosloorus to Buccleuch, the N12 at the Diepsloot and Elands interchange, the N12 from the East Rand to Gillooleys and the N4 from Kloofplaas to Malibongwe drive.