The Slovenia Times

The Motorway Solution

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Slovenia started to implement the National Motorway Construction Programme in 1994. During the first eight years, from January 1, 1994 to├┐July 1, 2003, there was a total of 243,6 kilometres of motorways and other roads built and given over to traffic (including the construction of four-lane roads and the upgrading of the existing two-lane roads). Once all the planned motorways in accordance with the National Motorway Construction Programme are completed, Slovenia will have approximately 660 kilometres of motorways and expressways. In order to provide an adequate and efficient road system, improve road safety, ensure integration with the broader European area and to boost economic growth (strategic goals), maximise economic effects and minimise the pollution of the environment, ensure greater economic, social and tourist benefits, and at the same time maintain the existing motorway infrastructure (structural goals), the National Assembly enacted the National Motorway Construction Programme in the Republic of Slovenia on November 15 (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia No. 13/96). On April 23, the National Assembly enacted all the amendments to the National Motorway Construction Programme (the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia 11/98). National Motorway Construction Programme envisages the completion and improvement of motorways and other roads in mainly two directions: East - West from Sentilj to Koper with exits, and to the Italian border (406 kilometres). zje on the Croatian border (113 kilometres). The Slovene motorway route heading from East to West is in line with the Fifth European Transportation Corridor (Trieste, Koper, Postojna, Ljubljana, Budapest), the motorway heading in the direction North - South is also in line with the Tenth European Transportation Corridor. On the abovementioned lines, the National Motorway Construction Programme envisages the building of the following: 518.6 km of motorways and expressways; 35.2 km of other public roads serving as feeders to the motorway network; Investment value The anticipated estimate of the investment value of the motorway construction and construction of other public roads and work on the railway system after the changes and modifications of the National Motorway Construction Programme in the Republic of Slovenia, is USD 4.1 billion. The most important sources of funds are the 'petrol tolar' and part of the pay toll, representing in total 67% of the necessary funds. Other funds will come from domestic and foreign loans and other sources. Tolls Most European countries charge for using the motorways. It is a payment for the number of kilometres driven on toll roads. The introduction of tolls on European roads is completely in accordance with the European Union's Directives concerning traffic. Promoting the principle that the users should cover, to the largest extent possible, the costs of the transport of goods and people. In Europe, tolls have ceased to be merely a mean of financing the construction and maintenance of motorways, but are becoming more and more an instrument of traffic policy - to disperse and redirect traffic from overcrowded motorways to the less crowded rail and public transport system, as well as a means of saving the environment (the Road Pricing system - different toll pricing depending on traffic density). The aim of the toll is that each user refunds the travelling and the infrastructure costs. The payment method should be as direct as possible and as dependent on the actual use of infrastructure as posible. Slovenia is among those European countries which have rich experience in collecting tolls on motorways. Tolls on the Slovenian motorways have been collected since 1973 (on the first Slovenian motorway Vrhnika - Postojna). The open and closed systems of toll collection are used. The present system of toll collection on the Slovenian motorways is the result of the conditions prior to the accelerated construction of the Slovenian motorways initiated in 1994. It is also the consequence of the standpoints of the authorities, studies based on these standpoints and of taking into account the European Union's Directives. The agreement between the EEC and Slovenia in the field of traffic played an important role as well. The open toll system has been introduced on all new motorway sections. It is in accordance with the directives of the 1994 National Assembly's Committee for infrastructure and environment. The open system makes it possible to use motorways without paying tolls within the regions. Toll stations are situated on region borders, covering mainly long-distance transit. Since 1995, the ABC system (Electronic Toll Collection, ETC) has been used at all toll stations in Slovenia. Substituting the cash tolling with the electronic toll collection system has increased the lane fluency of electronically equipped toll stations (the capacity of cash system is approximately 200 vehicles per hour, whereas the capacity of the ABC system is 1200 vehicles per hour). It has decreased negative effects on the environment as the result of a reduced number of vehicles slowing down at toll stations. In addition, the system enables a much faster, easier and more comfortable way of paying tolls, with the users staying completely anonymous. Thus, users save time and the frequency of stops, mainly in daily or seasonal rush hours. The number of ABC users has been constantly growing - on June 1 2002, 120 000 electronic cards were in circulation and that number has increased to about 140.000 in May 2003. Yes, travelling in or through Slovenia can be rather frustrating because you must quite often stop for paying tolls. If you are travelling, for instance from Koper to Maribor, you must stop 5 times for that reason. The DARS Card At the motorway service stations and some other sales points, it is possible to purchase the DARS card for paying the tolls on all Slovenian motorways and for all types of vehicles. It costs 5,000 tolars. (www.dars.si) Motorway network There is a total length of 6,253 km of public roads in Slovenia. They are classified according to their importance and their connecting function into: Motorways, Expressways, Main Roads - Category I, Main Roads - Category II, Regional Roads - Category I, Regional Roads - Category II and Regional Roads - Category III. Toll charges The current fee for the use of a designated toll road is pretty high. It amounts to approximately 11 tolars (4.7 cents) per kilometre for the first toll class category.

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