The network of toll roads in Belarus will be expanded as from 1 January and 1 July 2014.
The information was released by Yevgeny Rokalo, Head of the Central Office for Automobile Roads of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry, at a roundtable session on 12 December, BelTA has learned.
As from 1 January 2014 road toll will be introduced along the entire length of the M4 Minsk-Mogilev motorway, while at present road toll is collected from 74km of the motorway only. Decisions on which parts of Belarusian motorways will become toll roads as from 1 July will be made later on. In the future the M5 Minsk-Gomel motorway is likely to become a toll road as well as the motorways that connect Minsk with oblast capitals but have to be upgraded first, said the official. Once upgraded, the first class roads will have at least four lanes in one direction, with the traffic divided by a barrier.
The representative of the Ministry stated that mainly positive experience was accumulated during the four months of the system’s commercial operation.
The number of vehicles registered in the BelToll system now exceeds 150,000.
BelToll is a digital system designed to collect road toll by using a specialized short-range radio technology, which allows collecting road toll from road users without their having to stop. The system went commercial in Belarus on 1 August 2013. At present the system covers 815km of Belarusian roads. Work is in progress to expand the coverage onto parts of the national motorways M4 Minsk-Mogilev and M5 Minsk-Gomel.
In line with Belarus president decree No. 426 of 27 September 2012 vehicles registered in the Customs Union member states (Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan) with the admissible total weight of 3.5 tonnes and less are exempt from road toll. Free passage is granted to Belarus-registration scooters and motorbikes, wheeled tractors and self-propelled vehicles, emergency vehicles, and vehicles used for defense and law enforcement purposes. Road toll is not applicable to private bus companies involved in regular urban passenger transportation, vehicles used for emergency medical aid, mitigation of emergencies or the transportation of humanitarian cargoes.