Will Higher Motorway Tolls Change Habits?

By , 19 Mar 2017, 14:17 PM Business

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In some cases, airfare might be a cheaper option.

Although one of the first announcement made by the Transport Minister Oleg Butković when he became a minister was that Croatia would introduce vignettes for its motorways, after a “thorough review” the government decided to abandon its plans because it calculated that it would not collect high enough revenues to repay the debt of the road sector, which totals more than 5.2 billion euros. Also, the vignettes, which would be much more favourable for citizens, will not be introduced because they would lead to dismissal of a considerable number of workers currently employed in the toll collection sector, reports Večernji List on March, 19, 2017.

So, instead of cheaper vignettes, starting from April tolls on motorways operated by the Croatian Motorways public company will become even more expensive, by 5 percent throughout the year and by 10 during the summer tourist season, from 1 July to 30 September.

For example, the toll from Zagreb to Split will be 181 kuna, and in summer months as much as 199 kuna, or 25 kuna more than before. Due to the price increases, the question is whether travellers should choose another form of transportation. The cheapest way to travel between Zagreb and Split is by bus. The cheapest ticket costs 95 kuna, and the trip lasts for 5.5 hours. By car and using the motorway, the trip lasts for about 3 hours and 40 minutes. With the average cost of fuel and tolls in the amount of 468 kuna, you need four people travelling in a car to make it less expensive than a bus. If you decide to use the old regular road instead, you will spend 223 kuna, but the trip will last for at least six hours. Train takes six hours and the fare is 208 kuna. Interestingly, airfare from Zagreb to Split costs 355 kuna (of course, price depends on many factors, and this price was confirmed on Friday for a trip to Tuesday), which is very competitive, especially since the trip takes just 45 minutes.

If you want to travel from Zagreb to Osijek, bus is also the cheapest option (125 kuna), while travel by train (138 kn) takes longer, but is more comfortable. Car trip will set you back by between 169 and 317 kuna, while the plane is, despite subsidized airfare, considerably more expensive – 453 kuna, but also the fastest – the trip takes only 40 minutes.

Travelling to Rijeka, bus takes a bit over two hours and costs 72 kuna. Train takes as much as three and a half hours, so not many people use that option. By car, the trip is the shortest, and, if there are four people sharing the costs, the most favourable (114 to 183 kuna).

Collection of tolls is a major source of revenues for tourist countries, so all southern summer tourist countries in Europe, such as Spain, France, Portugal, Greece and Italy, do not have vignettes, but rather tolls paid according to the length of trip, just like in Croatia. In these countries the use of motorways is quite expensive, even more so than in Croatia after the latest price increases.

For example, in France and Italy, the average price is around 8 euros per 100 km, in Spain 9.5 euros, in Portugal about 6 euros, and in Greece from 4 to 10 euros. In Croatia, the average price will now be 6.3 euros per 100 km, and 6.9 euros per 100 kilometres during summer months. It should be added that in other countries not all sections are priced the same. For example, mountain sections of Italian motorways are about 30 percent more expensive than the lowlands sections, while many countries charge additionally for the use of tunnels.

The most expensive motorway in Croatia is Zagreb-Macelj, which is charged by a private concessionaire on average 10.5 euros per 100 km. And not only that. Under a contract signed with the government, the concessionaire will receive additional compensation if there is a drop in revenues due to reduced traffic.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • On most roads traffic is proceeding without particular restrictions. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. With the bad weather the headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče in Plasina tunnel in both directions, at Božići viaduct in direction Split, at Nadin rest area in direction Zagreb (speed limit of 60 km/h) till 6pm; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 119th-120th km in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June, in Vrata tunnel in direction Rijeka, in Čardak tunnel in direction Zagreb; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • The outbound passenger traffic is dense at Macelj, Pasjak, Kaštel and Zaton Doli (the waiting time is up to 30 minutes). In the outbound freight traffic there are delays at Macelj, Pasjak and Bregana (the queue is 1,5 km long, 2 hours). During the day difficulties can be expected at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary due to traffic density and occasional additional controls. Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Ferries operate regularly.
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