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Minister Vlačič for safe, ecological, affordable and user friendly transport

The10th Slovenian Congress on Roads and Transportation started today in Portorož with an opening address by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, and introductory report by the Minister of Transport, Dr Patrick Vlačič, entitled Development of Transport Systems in the Light of Modern Challenges. The congress will conclude on Friday, 22 October 2010.

 The Minister of Transport underlined in his address that the Ministry of Transport adopted key systemic changes for all branches of transport in the last year.

 

He stressed the essential difference in the new transport policy, i.e., earmarked funds for the construction of railroad infrastructure as of this year.He illustrated how important this is by using the example of Slovenian motorways construction:"In 1990, we only had few motorways.When the National Motorway Construction Programme was launched in 1994, funding was earmarked for this purpose.Today, our motorways are constructed.When we launched the National Railway Programme in 1996, no funding was earmarked and today its realisation rate stands at 30 percent or less."

 

The Minister also presented innovations brought about by two new railway laws:"New regulations address the issues of the organisation of Slovenian Railways, questions concerning infrastructure and investments in public railway infrastructure.In the future, Slovenian Railways will be organised as a holding company comprising three core companies:passenger transport, freight transport and infrastructure.By transforming Slovenian Railways into a holding of associated companies, maximum independence of the infrastructure manager from the carrier is guaranteed, along with the required independence of the freight transport part of the company, which ensures conditions for sustainable cost-effective operations.The two laws also eliminate the causes that gave rise to the comments of the European Commission about partly improper implementation of the first package of railway directives."

 

Another important systemic solution is related to the Motorway Company of the Republic of Slovenia (Dars) and the future motorway construction programme:"To date, we have constructed motorways from budget funds and borrowings; from now on, the state will no longer provide funding for these purposes.Procedures leading to the issuance of a building permit will remain in the hands of the State, while all other tasks will be carried out on the basis of concession relationships."

 

The Minister also said that Slovenia adopted its first national programme for civil aviation this year; we also adopted a national maritime programme and amended the laws regulating the aviation and maritime spheres.The programme for the construction of railway infrastructure is being amended, while the programme for the construction of motorways and the first national programme for the construction of national roads are being drawn up.

 

In relation to support for companies engaged in the area of transport, the minister emphasised that, by adopting a new national spatial plan for the Port of Koper, we have created conditions that will enable the company to double its capacities. On the initiative of Slovenian Railways, we have supported the idea of establishing a company, Cargo 10 d.o.o, with a view to taking joint action in the transport market, increasing the quality of services and controlling cargo flows along the tenth corridor, which has major development potential since, given the fourth Corridor via Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, by which cargo flows were directed during the war, its market share is estimated at 10%.

 

Minister Vlačič concluded his speech with thoughts on future transport policy, which will be directed towards enhancing traffic safety as the first priority of the transport ministry and towards improving public transport infrastructure and encouraging public passenger transport to become safe, punctual and suitable. This will provide an appropriate basis for the introduction of measures discouraging individual car transport, while promoting innovative solutions, said the minister, concluding:"In the future, transport of all kinds will have to be safe and ecological, affordable and, of course, user-friendly.”