Money for motorways

Alan Heath
29-04-2002, 00:00

The infrastructure ministry has announced that as early as September the national road fund will be in place which should provide the cash needed to get the motorway building programme under way.

This news will hopefully be not yet another false alarm in a series of hope boosting measures that have got just about nowhere in the past ten years or so. Poland currently has less than 300km of motorways, which account for less than 2.2 percent of all the roads in this country.

Wojciech Janczyk, the undersecretary of state at the interior ministry says that he believes the fund will be able to raise between PLN1.5bn and PLN2bn per year which could see as much as PLN6bn designated for motorway construction in the next three years. Thanks to this cash it would be possible to raise a further PLN15bn in loans. The ministry however hopes that once the roads are running they will be able to pay for themselves and so that money going out will be equal to that coming in.

Current plans foresee 500km of motorway being built by the end of 2005 at a cost of around PLN12bn.

This is Poland and obviously there is a catch wrapped up in several layers of red tape. Before the motorway building plan can commence the law on toll motorways needs to be updated.

Janusz Lewandowicz, managing director of Autostrada Wielkopolska which is building the A2 link between Nowy Tomyśl to the west of Poznań and Konin in the centre of the country highlights some of the reasons for the delay in construction as being legal problems related to getting the necessary permits as well as ecological and archaeological work. Fortunately the infrastructure ministry claims that it has got some ideas on how to resolve this problem as well.

Wojciech Janczyk claims that the ministry has prepared a bill although it has not thought of a name for it. This unnamed bill will resolve a number of the problems connected with the construction of the motorway, he says.

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Podpis: Alan Heath

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