1000 days of Dan Ťok: Construction of 230 km of new roads, repair of dozens of railway stations

1000 days of Dan Ťok: Construction of 230 km of new roads, repair of dozens of railway stations
6/9/2017Press releases

Construction of 230 new kilometres of motorways and category I roads in progress, transfer of railway stations to state ownership and commencement of repairs, registration of vehicles in any office, correction of the incorrectly set toll contracts and a new transparent tender. These are the basic results of Dan Ťok for his 1000 days in the function of the Minister of Transport. Since 1993, Dan Ťok became only the third of the seventeen ministers of transport who were heading the transport field for more than two and three quarters of a year.

1000 days of Dan Ťok: Construction of 230 km of new roads, repair of dozens of railway stations

1. Start of construction and road repairs

"After many years, we again kickstarted the construction of motorways and city bypasses, we started construction of nearly 140 kilometres of motorways and 40 kilometres of category I roads. In addition to this, we have repaired and are repairing hundreds of kilometres of roads and for the first time we have contributed nearly 11 billion to the regional roads which are in a state of disrepair," says the minister of transport Dan Ťok.

The construction of the South Bohemian D3 motorway has progressed most: four sections are currently under construction simultaneously by České Budějovice, of which two will be put into operation at the turn of September and October. The modernisation of the D1 motorway is seeing amazing progress, with six sections under construction, seven sections completed and eight sections under preparation. With Dan Ťok in office, the remaining section of the D8 Ústí nad Labem motorway was opened and gradually secured and the same applies to the D11 to Hradec Králové.

2. Spending money in the transportation sector in a way that makes sense

During the three years, 80 billion p.a. were invested in construction for transportation, i.e. about CZK 240 billion in total. We managed to complete the draw-down of funding from the Operational Programme for Transportation and spend all the resources available on construction work. Transportation accounts for almost a quarter of the European money being drawn down. This makes it possible to finance, for example, the modernisation of the whole D1 motorway or to reconstruct railway lines.

3. Easier life for motorists

Minister Ťok exempted from fees 145 km of motorway sections that constitute city by-passes or through which category I roads pass. This lead to the migration of a portion of the traffic to motorway, relieving towns, but this step did not show in the revenue from motorway stickers.

"I pushed through a change in the law that allows changes to the registry of vehicles in any office of a municipality with extended powers since June 2017. In just three months, hundreds of people took advantage of this option, i.e. one third of all those who came to make a change in the registry," the minister adds.

4. Contribution to greater road safety

Drivers and pedestrians behave more responsibly than in the past. In 2016 the death toll on Czech roads hit the historical low and the 2017 holidays are also positive in terms of statistics. "We believe we have also contributed with the BESIP campaigns, which focused on the visibility on roads, and now draws attention, among other things, to the biggest mistakes drivers often make: keeping insufficient distance or paying little attention to driving," adds Ťok. New and safer roundabouts and traffic lights were also funded from the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure. The repair of more than 1150 kilometres of motorways and category I roads also contributed to greater safety.

5. Solving long-term issues

The monopoly of the licence plate supplier now belongs to the past. In a transparent competition a new licence plate maker was selected who supplies one licence plate for CZK 45 instead of the CZK 120 as before, saving up to CZK 120 million. Issues with the vehicle registry, which used to be unreliable, also disappeared.

The correction of the contract with Kapsch, incorrectly concluded, enabled the start of a new tender for the trucks toll system provider. At the same time, income from the toll did not drop and the toll now brings almost CZK 10 billion p.a. This money goes back to road repairs. We also managed to complete the transfer of the railway station from the assets of Czech Railways to the Railway Infrastructure Administration. Thanks to this, the repairs of dozens of railway stations could start, so they are now receiving a new face.


Tasks for the upcoming period: Accelerating construction, completing the toll tender and promoting new technologies

According to minister Dan Ťok, it is necessary for the next period to ensure faster construction of infrastructure. In this respect, it would be helpful to change the law permitting the construction of key projects within a single office.

"We need to be able to build roads before the end of the expropriation of land and introduce a the so-called Institute of preliminary holding that is common in developed countries," the minister explains.

Minister Ťok envisages the construction of 280 km new motorways and the completion of the D1 modernisation between Prague and Brno by 2021. According to the minister, there is a need for introducing the provisional driving licence and modifying the penalty points system, so that it mostly penalises road pirates. Every driver could check the points status via a mobile app.

An important task for the new government will also be the completion of the tender for the new toll operator who shall collect charges from trucks after 2019. Attention needs to be paid to new technologies in the traffic control and to stimuli for owners of cars with an alternative drive.

"We must keep pace with the changes in the automotive industry and introduce digital motorways that communicate with the driver, adapt to autonomous vehicles and support electrical mobility," adds Ťok.

In the rail transport, the continuation of market opening will be crucial, leading to competition and better services at lower prices. A uniform ticket and mutual recognition between carriers will help increase passenger convenience. A visible change will be the 400 planned repairs of station buildings by 2022, for which CZK 8.5 billion has been put aside.

"We also need to move on to the realistic preparation and construction of high-speed tracks. The biggest progress was made with the construction of tracks from Prague to Dresden where one could on day travel in just one hour. But important is also the track from Prague to Brno and Břeclav," says Dan Ťok.

„Potřebujeme také přejít k reálné přípravě a výstavbě vysokorychlostních tratí. Nejvíce se podařilo nachystat výstavbu tratí z Prahy do Drážďan, kde by se mohlo jednou cestovat za pouhou hodinu. Důležitá je ale také trať z Prahy do Brna a do Břeclavi,“ říká Dan Ťok.

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