Table of contents:
- Toll roads
- Working mechanism
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Global experience
- In Russia
- As of 2015
- For trucks
- Prospects for development
Road transport is comparatively cheap when it comes to not too long distances. Their cost is affected only by the depreciation of the cars themselves and fuel. However, since recently, logisticians can also include tariffs for travel on toll roads as expenses. But the slopes are usually worth it.
There are two main views on the problem of additional tolls on certain sections: one side considers this unfair, since there is a transport tax in the Russian Federation, the funds from which should go to the construction of highways, while others consider this as a completely normal phenomenon.
Despite the fact that the appearance of paid sections has become systematic only recently, this is far from being an invention of the 21st century, even for Russia. Initially, travel for money was practiced on small sections in the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Saratov, Pskov regions. But due to unprofitability and for some other reasons, this initiative did not receive proper development.
Why do we need paidroad sections and how does it work in general? The initial goal is to shift the costs of construction, maintenance and reconstruction of highways, at least partially, onto the motorists themselves. There are several payment systems available.
Firstly, these are special stickers called vignettes or stickers. This is a kind of pass on toll roads in Europe, the absence of which threatens with a fine. For a relatively small cost, depending on the duration of the subscription, a traveler can purchase a sticker at any gas station in the border area - even in the European Union there is still no single system.
The second way - special checkpoints at the entrance, where the payment takes place. This method, for example, is used in Russia, where there are not so many toll tracks yet. The same system is still followed by Italy, Belarus, Poland, France, Croatia, Serbia, the Netherlands and some other European countries with a small number of such sites.
Advantages and disadvantages
Toll roads are almost always high-speed autobahns with good coverage. Yes, there are usually free ride options. But they are either not very convenient and have a large number of interchanges, or the traffic on them is much more intense, as a result of which the average speed is significantly reduced.
The second advantage that toll roads have is their maximum efficiency and safety. The detour might just be too long.
True, there are downsides. One of the most significantis a poorly developed collection system that causes congestion at the entrances to such sites. Fortunately, this shortcoming can be corrected by creating electronic payment methods, or at least automating the work of checkpoints. The latter will reduce costs, since you will not have to spend money on the salary of cashiers, eliminate the human factor and reduce the processing time of each payment.
Now the development of toll road networks around the world is in full swing: in Australia, North and South America, Asia, Africa. In some countries, you will have to fork out for travel on any toll road, in others there are only a couple of such sections. In some places, for example, entrance to the center of megacities is paid, which is a measure to stimulate the use of public transport and an attempt to get rid of traffic jams. Both options show their success in one way or another, so the Russian Federation may well want to introduce toll roads in the center of million-plus cities, if necessary.
In 2007, a law was signed that legalized the appearance of toll tracks in the presence of understudies. However, the first such site appeared only in 2010 as an experiment, and at first it seemed to be a complete failure. Drivers lost checks and had to pay twice, sometimes they refused to do it at all, considering the cost too high. This, as well as the novelty of the procedure itself, created serious congestion in front of the checkpoints.
And now motorists are dissatisfied with the introduction of each new section. There are two reasons for this: the fee in general, as well as traffic jams in front of the points of its reception. However, it is expected that over time the situation will become familiar, but for now the most promising is the development of an electronic system for collecting money for travel using special devices - transponders. True, the problem is that they do not yet operate in all areas.
It is expected that over time, Russians will appreciate the convenience of toll roads. Let's compare the speed of travel along the M11 Moscow-Petersburg highway under construction. A train covers the distance between the two capitals in about 8-10 hours if it is not a Sapsan, and a car can cover it in 4.5 hours if the limit, as the authorities promise, is 150 km/h throughout.
As of 2015
While toll roads on the map do not take up much space, they are more likely to be stumbled upon by chance, even in Belarus the length of toll roads is longer. However, the Ministry of Transport has very serious plans for the development of the network, which so far is just over 450 kilometers across the entire territory of Russia.
In December 2015, the situation is as follows:
- Toll road "Don" M4 - several sections with a total length of about 340 kilometers.
- M1 - 20 km connecting the exit from the capital and the Minsk highway bypassing the city of Odintsovo.
- Section M11 from Moscow Ring Road to Sheremetyevo, as well as bypassing Vyshny Volochek, in the future the route will reach St. Petersburg and becomepaid in full.
- The Western High-Speed Diameter (WHSD) is a route passing through St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.
Obviously, this is still quite a bit, but the government plans to increase the length of paid roads to 3,000 kilometers by the end of 2016.
The cost of a toll road is always differentiated for different types of vehicles, and in some cases also depends on the time of day. At first glance, the tariffs may seem very high, but if you compare them with European ones, you can conclude that the price is quite fair. Again, the already mentioned Moscow-Petersburg route can be taken as an example.
A train on this route, if it is not branded, costs from 1 thousand rubles. Considering that this method will take much more time, and the suitable train may leave at inconvenient times or cost more, it is obvious that traveling along the toll route, which, according to forecasts, will cost about the same, will be more profitable. In addition, those who want to save a little can install a transponder that gives a small but very nice discount.
In the meantime, let's hope that some subscriptions will be introduced, because the price is about 500 rubles for a section from Moscow to Solnechnogorsk during peak hours - this still does not look fair.
November 2015 was a blow for many carriers, because in the middle of the month without anytransitional periods, a toll system was introduced for trucks with a gross weight of more than 12 tons on all federal highways. This caused a serious public outcry, as the costs of logistics companies have risen sharply - for each kilometer you will now have to pay 1.5 rubles until the end of February 2016, and later - a little more than 3 rubles for the same distance, so traveling on a toll road may become some unaffordable luxury.
The system, dubbed "Platon", has been criticized as it has proved to be very unstable so far, and subsequently many carriers who honestly paid fares still received fines due to technical failures. In addition, the ways in which this can be done are not yet too numerous and rather inconvenient. The controversial point is that after paying for a certain route, it cannot be changed. In short, the system still has to go through numerous changes to become truly useful.
Prospects for development
Mostly, the authorities are talking about the active construction of new tracks for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In addition, over time, it is planned that Russian toll roads will be included in long international routes covering the capitals of Western Europe, the CIS, and then going to Iran, China and India.
Well, it is quite possible that with proper quality and service, as well as a fair pricing policy, these autobahns will be in serious demand both among foreigners,and the Russians themselves.