Table of contents:
- From Russian history
- The first toll road in Russia
- Unification of the road network
- Financial aspects
- Climatic factors
- From the peculiarities of national psychology
- Global experience
- Process started
Folk wisdom says: "There are two troubles in Russia - fools and roads." Whether or not to agree with this popular expression is everyone's personal choice. But hardly anyone will argue with the fact that such a huge country simply cannot exist without good autobahns in the future. It is the roads, or, as they are now commonly called, federal highways, that unite the fantastically vast territory of Russia into a single whole.
From Russian history
The road network that exists today in the country was formed over several centuries, as the territorial expansion of the Russian Empire. The process of development of transport infrastructure continues to this day. And only clinical optimists can express satisfaction with its results. A significant part of the roads in Russia does not meet the level necessary for the successful development of the country.
First of all, this concerns the vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, where, as in the old days, directions prevail instead of roads. And the very centuries-old hopelessness of this situation makes us think that the current state of affairs can change only when toll roads are introduced.in Russia. There is hardly a reasonable alternative to this solution. Currently, road construction is financed mainly by a tax that each vehicle owner pays annually to the state. But it does not allow for the proper accumulation of funds necessary for the construction and operation of such significant infrastructure facilities as intercity highways.
The first toll road in Russia
Positive experience in the construction and operation of modern highways has already been achieved. There is already a toll road in Russia, this is the federal highway M-4 "Don", leading from the capital to the city of Rostov-on-Don and further in the direction of the North Caucasus. This highway is characterized by a large volume of both freight and passenger traffic. So far, only four sections are paid throughout its entire length. But this is, as they say, a pilot project. All toll sections on the M-4 Don federal highway have alternative traffic options between their starting and ending points. The presence of duplicate routes is a mandatory requirement when making a decision to transfer a particular road to the toll category.
It is interesting to note that most of those who use the M-4 "Don" highway constantly have stopped thinking about finding an opportunity to bypass toll sections on duplicate routes. The choice in favor of toll roads is made by those who value their time and comfort more than the opportunity to save. In addition, detour alternative routes are always longer.direct. More fuel is spent to overcome them, and the savings look very doubtful.
Unification of the road network
Federal highways form the basis of Russia's modern road network. These highways connect the capital of the country with all regional administrative centers. They are funded from the federal budget. The rest of the road network is ranked by regional and local status. The federal road system is the most important component of the overall technological infrastructure that provides communication between parts of a single country.
Any modernization and innovation in the principles of approach to road construction can only be carried out by decision of the federal authorities. Therefore, paid travel on the roads of Russia is gradually being introduced precisely on federal highways. Currently, it exists only in the European part of the country.
Road construction requires significant investment. There is no objection to the simple fact that a kilometer of a modern multi-lane freeway is very expensive. But to this we also have to add the inevitable costs of arranging roadside infrastructure - bridges, overpasses, multi-level interchanges, side driveways and parking lots. To find in a short time the necessary financial resources for the construction of modern highways will help only the introduction of a system of tolls for the use of roads throughout Russia. In this case, road constructionfunded by everyone who rides them.
The difficulty of building transport infrastructure and maintaining it at the required level is greatly exacerbated by low temperatures, which are typical for most of the Russian territory.
Greater temperature fluctuations lead to more intensive destruction of the road surface compared to countries with a temperate climate. This further increases the cost of building roads in Russia. First of all, this concerns the regions of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East.
From the peculiarities of national psychology
It's no secret that the very phrase "toll road in Russia" causes a sharp negative reaction from a significant part of its population. It is very difficult to convince people who have been used to driving for free on the roads for centuries that there is a very direct relationship between the absence of a fee and the traditional idea of \u200b\u200bRussian roads as the worst on the planet. That the only chance to gradually bring the country's road network in line with generally accepted world standards is to introduce tolls on the most significant highways.
Only the realization of the fact that a toll road in Russia is a good road can radically change the existing situation. And there is no other way than the one that works successfully in most technologically advanced countries of the world. Of course it's possibleonly on the condition that the payment of toll roads in Russia will be used specifically for their reconstruction and construction. Not to the personal bank accounts of a narrow group of stakeholders.
For all the uniqueness of Russia with its vast geographical expanses, this is not the first country in the world that is faced with the need to find funds for the modernization and construction of road infrastructure. And the entire world experience in road construction allows us to draw a completely unambiguous conclusion that good roads exist primarily where you have to pay for travel on them.
Typically, this principle works equally well in boundless Canada and in microscopic Israel. In these very different countries, the quality of the motorways is the same. Travel on them is paid.
The system of toll roads in Russia already exists. In addition to the four toll sections on the M-4 Don federal highway, from September 11, 2015, the section of the M-11 highway from the Moscow Ring Road to Sheremetyevo became toll. The length of the paid section of the route is 43 kilometers. In the same year, the section of the Western High-Speed Diameter near St. Petersburg also became paid. Toll roads in Russia for trucks appeared on November 15, 2015. This date marked the beginning of an irreversible process in the turnover of heavy vehicles.
So far this only applies to vehicles, weightwhich exceeds twelve tons. Truck owners will only have to pay for driving on federal highways. The fare is 3 rubles 75 kopecks per kilometer. The decision to introduce truck fares was made at the highest level. It was not canceled even despite significant social tension and protest actions of truck drivers. If we take into account that it is heavy trucks that cause the greatest damage to the road surface, then this decision is quite justified.