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Forget Sanral: Man builds own toll road

2014-08-05 13:53

BUILD YOUR OWN TOLL-ROAD: Nevermind SA's e-tolls (above), a UK business man, Mike Watts, has built his own alternative road to solve a chaotic traffic problem in Kelston, Somerset in England. Image: Sapa

SOMERSET, England - UK business man MikeWatts was frustrated by a 22.5km road diversion which was causing chaos, after part of a national road in Kelston, Somerset had collapsed and was closed down.

It’s akin to SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency Limited) building e-tolls in Gauteng and soon to be built in the Western Cape.


According to the London Daily Mail, Watts took the equivalent of R2.6-million of his own funds and decided to do something constructive rather complain about poor service delivery.

He rented out a nearby field and built an alternative gravel road to allow traffic to bypass the closure. He charged £2 - the equivalent of R36 - each way.

The gravel track was built next to the A431 in Kelston and Watts says he will spend about another R2.6-million to maintain it.

Watts said: “I only want to break even before December when the council is due to re-open the proper road, which was closed after a landslip.”

He has taken out public liability insurance and officers from Bath and North East Somerset Council. The Health and Safety Executive have inspected the site.

The council has been quick to question his efforts and are concerned for the health and safety of road users.


The report said rather than thanking Watts, the council has subjected him to “all sorts of snooty checks and inspections”. It’s no surprise though since he has up shown the public works sector by doing their work for them.

Watts was told by the council that a road closure “cannot possibly be dealt with swiftly and efficiently”, says the Daily Mail.

Dubbed the ‘have-a-go-hero’, Watts is an example of how we could take positive action as opposed to say, hurling excrement, burning tyres, stealing cables and/or vandalising trains. - London Daily Mail

Read the original story here.

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