The Transformation of Transport Projects in Hungary

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The Transformation of Transport Projects in Hungary
Forecast data show that the development of the transport system is justified by the reshuffling of the proportions represented by the modes and a technically outdated vehicle fleet and rolling stock rather than by a shortage in total capacity. The density of the Hungarian railway network is much above the EU average, and the road network as well to some extent, however, the motorway network density is less than one-half of the EU average.
Updating the country’s railway backbone network and vehicle fleet, as well as the modernization of its expressway network, and the development and maintenance of the national road network in compliance with the TINA-network present major challenges for Hungary.
Given a stable and dynamically developing economy, development could be speeded up by the involvement of private capital in addition to non-refundable support. In such situations, however, the escalation of motorway toll rates should be prevented because they could divert most of the traffic from the motorways. This should be a considerable viewpoint even according to the EU concept known as “the user should pay”. (For the time being there is no motorway toll applied in more than the half of EU member states.)
Hungarian experience gained from the M1 Motorway, operated under concession, reveals that motorway investments should not be realized in Hungary entirely out of private capital. Due to the high toll rate, about 70% of the transiting freight traffic did not uses the motorway, and the proportion of passenger cars was also quite low. Nevertheless, the construction of the concession part of the M1 Motorway was a decisive measure, since Hungary’s capital is the first one in Eastern Europe that is accessible via a motorway.
Another impact on transport demands is attributed to the fact that the per capita GDP in Budapest and the central region is 80% higher than country average, and that the differences between the regions in terms of development failed to be reduced during the first semester of 2000.
The Government’s so-called “Széchenyi Plan” could contribute to a reduction of the regional differences.



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