Residents largely in favour of toll gates

Residents largely in favour of toll gates

DUBAI — Public opinion on the two new Salik toll gates seems to be largely in favour of the RTA.

By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Sat 16 Feb 2013, 11:50 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:58 AM

The two new toll gates, that will open on April 15, aim at reducing congestion and easing commuter woes. One of the new Salik gates will be near Al Mamzar Bridge on Al Ittihad Road — the congested highway between Dubai and Sharjah — while the second will be at Airport Tunnel on Beirut Road in Al Twar side, at both entrance and exit points.

Saeed bin Kalli an Emirati said RTA’s plans are positive: “The road is very nice now ... and Salik helps to not waste time”.

Kalli said that even though he was retired and no longer needed to commute daily to work, it was easy for him to go by Metro to Rigga. He was confident that crossing the airport stretch would only ease up when the new gate was installed.

Mohammad Al Heloo, another Emirati, does 30km a day — some days from Rashidiya to Bur Dubai, and once a week from Bur Dubai to Sharjah: “Al Ittihad road is a problem, but Mohammed bin Zayed road is easy. Al Qusais road is easy. Even airport tunnel is no problem.” The mornings he travels from Sharjah or Deira to Dubai are problematic because of the congestion at the tunnel, he added.

Salma Abdullah, who lives near Rashidiya is also in favour of Salik: “As long as the streets are clean and safe and the infrastructure is well-maintained — which is where the money is going towards.”

Having lived here for 10 years, Abdullah can see the result of RTA’s efforts: “I don’t think there is anything wrong with charging people who can afford to pay an amount that has only improved the roads. I can see the progress.” As for the congestion the new gates might cause on alternate routes, she has faith in the government and town planning and credits the RTA “to surely find a way.” She said she did have doubts about how much more it would cost the commuter.

At a fuel station on Al Khail road, a German national Andreas Loeblin agreed with Salma’s views. Himself, not such a user of Salik, he said in the past year of being here he could see the results of RTA’s work: “It used to take 45 minutes to reach Arabian Ranches from The Dubai Mall. Today it takes us just 20 minutes.”

Daisy Jacob and her husband Jacob, who commute daily from Rashidiya to Shaikh Zayed Road were however sceptical about the new gates: “Nobody is going to use Salik because of the congestion it causes.” Daisy said: “It will just add to the pressure.

“Who can ever be happy with Salik?” her husband asked.

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