Tok signs memorandum on zero toll rate for first-class roads

Czech Transport Minister Dan Tok compromised with regions and municipalities on maintaining the option for zero toll rate for first-class roads where toll will be introduced as of 2020, with Tok and representatives of regions and municipalities signing a memorandum before journalists today.

Regions and municipalities will select sections where the zero rate will apply. The zero toll rate option will not concern about 240 kilometres of first-class roads where toll is already collected. The toll system will expand by more than 900 km from 2020.

The ministry thus gave in to self-rule authorities which have been protesting against extending the toll system to first-class roads from the beginning.

Self-rule authorities believe that making the sections part of the toll system would move lorries to smaller regional roads and municipalities.

The memorandum suggests regions define specific sections where the toll system will apply in terms of either finance or transit transport regulation. The ministry will respect their choice.

The zero toll rate does not change the toll system after 2019, Tok said. Its satellite technology will monitor even sections where zero toll is collected.

The zero rate introduction was criticised by hauliers, saying that the step suggests the toll system expansion was purpose-built so that satellite technology could be selected in toll tender.

Tok denied their claims saying that the toll tender was approved by the government and all bidders had the same conditions.

A consortium of companies CzechToll and SkyToll won the tender process to operate the toll system, bidding Kc10.75bn for a ten-year operation. The current microwave technology will be replaced by a satellite system.

Cesmad Bohemia hauliers association said that the price offer should be lowered by at least a third because of the zero toll rate option.

The current toll system operator Kapsch said the system is overpriced and that it should be at least Kc5bn cheaper.

CzechToll has denied Kapsch's claim saying the new system would be cheaper than the current one, and that the zero rate would change nothing about the project's preparation.

The Confederation of Industry president Jaroslav Hanak welcomed today's signing of the memorandum.

Since 2007, toll has been collected from lorries on more than 1,400 km of motorways and selected sections of first-class roads. The state has collected Kc93.4bn in toll since then.

In the first six months of this year, toll collection increased annually by 4.85 percent to Kc5.4bn.

Source: CTK

Tereza Řezníčková
section Aktuálně