Russian drivers may pay for new roads from their own pockets

A government think-tank says drivers should cover the cost of building new roads and car parks by paying a third more for petrol over the next three years.

Currently car drivers pay for about 40 per cent of road works, as 30 per cent is drawn from fuel tax and 10 per cent from transport tax.

The think-tank wants to see the figures increased – for example, fuel tax is likely to go up to 40 per cent.

The officials are also considering introducing mileage taxes. All cars will have to be equipped with GPS systems that will make it possible to calculate how many miles the car travels.

Transport specialists say that even all the car owners in Russia will not be able to fully fund the road-construction expenses.

“Special road-building funds have just been created,” Professor Anatoly Fedorenko, HSE at Logistic Infrastructure Management Department, told RT. “They are financed by transport and fuel taxes. A second source of money is the new toll roads. Car owners won’t pay for these alone. This year alone, regional budgets have spent over 700 billion rubles on this. So far the ratio is 70/30. But in the future, the share of budget money will decrease.”

This comes amid the Moscow government’s efforts to deal with the drastic traffic congestion in the Russian capital.

There are currently 3.5 million cars registered in Moscow, and this figure is growing by 3% every year. As parking space is provided for 30% of vehicles only, heavy traffic is usually hampered by cars parked on the roadside.

In October 2010, Moscow was ranked third on the list of the world cities with the highest level of traffic jams. In December 2009 alone, an average Muscovite driver wasted 20 hours in traffic jams and altogether during the year, he or she lost almost seven days, or around 168 hours.

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