Problems of formation of international transport corridors in Russia

5 august 2014

The Analytical Center held a roundtable on “Development of international transport corridors to implement the transit potential of Russia in the motor vehicle sector”, during which experts have tried to identify the causes hindering the transit potential of the country.

During the event, experts discussed the compliance of the transport infrastructure and technologies with contemporary international requirements, providing high speed and low cost for a safe delivery of cargos and passengers through the international transport corridors.

Adviser to the Directorate for Transport Economics at the Analytical Center Mikhail Nizov noted that the formation of international transport corridors on Russian territory is aimed at improving the efficiency and quality of Russian foreign trade transportation and the use of the geographically advantageous position of Russia for the expansion of transport services export, including transit transportation service for third countries. “The increase in transit traffic stimulates the development of international trade relations, transport infrastructure and the regional economy, providing employment opportunities and transport accessibility,” – said the expert.

Deputy Head of the Federal Road Agency Igor Astakhov believes that the development of transport corridors is an important task for the Russian Federation. “As of January, 2014, according to the annually conducted diagnosis, 46% of our road network complies with the regulatory requirements - said the official. - This figure is quite small due to the fact that we began to receive 100% of the funds required to maintain the quality of the roads only since January 1, 2014”. According to him, this figure should be increased up to 85% by the end of 2018, but in order to reach this indicator the solely presence of the funds is insufficient. “We need to understand how to use the roads that we repair, build, maintain, and it is necessary to obey the standards regarding traffic loads,” - said Mr. Astakhov. Нe said that now up to 46% of trucks that move through our country significantly exceed the​​ values set by regulations of the traffic loads. If we do not change this situation, we will not see results, the official added.

Within the frameworks of the event the Technical Adviser of OJSC “GIPRODORNII” Vladimir Fedotov told about technical matters of transit traffic and the formation of international transport corridors. He noted that Russia has joined the international agreement and adopted a normative legal framework that defines the excessive demand for roads construction, not only regarding transit routes, but also all over the Russian Federation.

According to Mikhail Nizov, this is unreasonable. “We have assumed big obligations, adopted a strict regulatory framework, but in fact we are not able to implement it, - the expert believes. - Now it is necessary to consider the international transport corridors, which are used for transit, to identify bottlenecks and to use financial resources for their expansion”. At the present moment, the development of transit potential in Russia is 5 times lower than in Belarus, he added. “Belarus has a 20% transit traffic, and we still have only 4.7%. This example points to the fact that we are not optimally spending public funds for transport system development in terms of transit,” - said Mr. Nizov. According to him, we have transit from Europe to Asia (China) in the direction of Kazakhstan, and these paths should be developed.

The event's participants raised the issue of providing international transport corridors with highways for the standard of 11.5 tons axle load and with the relevant working capacity. Acting First Deputy Director General of FSUE “RosdorNII” Alexander Strizhevskiy noted the need to observe the rules of road operation. Thus, the standard of 11.5 tons load will sustain only those roads that were designed and built for this load, but not the ones that have increased strength. “It should be noted that if we plan to recover the investment made in strengthening the roads for transit purposes, it is necessary to create the necessary infrastructure to ensure the safety, service, travel in winter and flood and provide conditions for entry and exit,” - added Mr. Strizhevskiy.

Experts pointed out that in the road sector, in addition to transit, has other problems, such as the interconnection of settlements and others. According to them, all problems must be solved as a whole, rather than spending money and making efforts in a certain direction only.