BUSINESS SHORTS

Cabinet calls for lower motorway tolls

THE SLOVAK cabinet has chopped 20 percent from the motorway toll rates proposed by the transport minister.

The motorway tariffs are set to come into force on January 1, 2009. Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny had originally proposed tolls for trucks and buses that would range from Sk2.38 (€0.07) to Sk7.86 (€0.24) per kilometre, without VAT.

The cut means motorway tariffs in Slovakia will be similar to those in the Czech Republic and Austria, the SITA newswire wrote.

Despite the fact that the toll rates will be lower than originally proposed, the minister expects annual revenues from toll collection to reach Sk4 billion to Sk4.5 billion (€119.4 million to €134.3 million).

The ministry has proposed toll collection on 2,435 kilometres of roads across Slovakia. Nearly 350 kilometres of that would be motorways.

A public tender for installing and operating the electronic toll collection system is expected to be announced in the first half of July.

So far, potential bidders include Siemens Electronic Tolling, together with Siemens, s.r.o. Bratislava and its daughter companies Deutsche Telekom-Slovak Telekom and Satellic Traffic Management; the Austrian company Kapsch; and French SANEF.

Vážny said terms of the tender would make the satellite system of tracking vehicles preferable to the microwave system.

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