Cabinet has approved the Roads Amendment Bill, 2017, with an objective of reforming the law relating to the development, management and maintenance of public roads.

State Minister for Housing Chris Baryomunsi made the announcement yesterday while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on behalf of ICT and National Guidance Minister Frank Tumwebaze

The width of road reserves is likely to increase from the current 15 meters to a maximum of 40 meters, from the main road according to the Roads (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that has been approved by the cabinet.

Works and Transport Minister, Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege says that the change will apply to areas where new roads will be constructed after the enactment of the law. She, however, adds that this will vary depending on the location of the road and the availability of space needed for road reserves.

Eng. Azuba says the minister will have the power to temporarily let other government agencies such as National Water and Sewage Corporation, electricity suppliers or individuals to use the road reserve and vacate it when the necessary.

The bill will also reintroduce toll-ways, where a road toll or fee will be charge from Motorised users before using the roads. Eng. Azuba says the arrangement will help the government to lure private sector into the business of designing and building roads adding that all fees collected for road usage will help to recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance.

The amendment is aimed at reforming the law relating to the development, management and maintenance of public roads. This road Bill once enacted will repeal the Roads Act of 1949 and the Access to Roads Act of 1969.

Ms Azuba said the proposed 40 metres for the road reserve will apply to the new road projects that will be constructed after the amendment is passed by Parliament

“It (Bill) provides for the gazzetment, establishment, control and protection of the road reserves. We’re looking at increasing the road reserve from 15 to 40 metres. The minister will declare not less than 15 metres and not more than 40 metres on the new roads,” Ms Azuba said.

She said if the amendment is passed, the ministry will allow temporary use of the road reserve by other people or institutions on condition that they will vacate without any compensation when the Works ministry decides to work on the reserves