Introduction of Toll Taxes in Bulgaria Expected to Triple Road Revenues

Business | March 29, 2016, Tuesday // 14:09|  views

Bulgarian Regional Minister Lilyana Pavlova. Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian Regional Minister Lilyana Pavlova forecasted that the introduction of toll roads in the country will double or triple the revenues generated from road charges.

The toll system will be applicable to cargo vehicles with a weight above 3.5 tonnes and drivers will be charged depending on the distance covered by them.

Cars below 3.5 tonnes will not pay the new toll tax, but will stick to the present vignette system which will become electronic.

Pavlova expects that with the increased prices of vignette stickers from the beginning of this year, annual revenue from the sale of the vignette stickers will rise from BGN 200 M to BGN 250-260 M.

The minister made this comments at the eleventh annual conference “Strategic infrastructure and investments: Bulgaria in connected Europe 2016” held on Tuesday.

Out of the 20 000 kilometres of republican road network, the toll and vignette system will cover 17 000 kilometres. No taxes will be levied on the remaining 3000 kilometres, which consist of small local roads.

The toll system will not be applied to all third-class roads, but only to those with transit traffic.

In her words, this was a just approach as those traveling the most and causing the greatest damage to the infrastructure would pay more.

She added that this year the focus will not be so much on the construction of infrastructure, as it had been last year, but rather on restructuring the management in the sector.

One such restructuring will be the merging of the National Company Strategic Infrastructure Projects into the Road Infrastructure Agency (API).

Pavlova noted that 2016 will not be an easy year as it marks a transit period between two programme periods, adding that the introduction of a mixed model of payment for road travel will begin shortly.

The minister expressed hope that a public tender for the selection of a contractor will be launched next week.

The selected contractor will have to develop software and hardware and incorporate the toll system.

The electronic vignette will be valid for a year regardless of the month it is purchased in.

The maintenance of small roads will continue to be among the priorities this year.

The increased revenues from vignette stickers will be used to finance road repairs in certain regions, with the priority being on northwestern and northeastern Bulgaria.

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Tags: Bulgaria, road, infrastructure, toll tax, vignette sticker, API, Lilyana Pavlova


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