Ljubljana, 08 March (STA) - The government has tasked the motorway company DARS to freeze all activities concerning the introduction of electronic free-flow motorway tolling system as part of austerity efforts, head of the Government Communications Office (UKOM) Anže Logar told the press on Thursday.
According to the government, investments into a new tolling system would not be economical in the current economic situation.
Based on an action plan adopted by the previous government in November 2009, DARS published an international call for applications last August to select the contractor for the electronic tolling system for lorries to replace the current system of tolling at tolling stations. Other groups of vehicles currently use toll stickers.
The call for applications is still open (until 20 March), as it has been extended several times due to audit requests and the complexity of the project.
The Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Ministry argues that DARS will have a hard time covering its existing liabilities in the coming years and that setting up a new system of tolling would bring additional liabilities.
Therefore, the ministry thinks the project should be put on hold until an agreement on an EU-wide tolling system is reached.
"Considering all these facts and considering that the EU does not yet have a standardised method of monitoring traffic on motorways, the government has adopted the decision to immediately stop the activities around electronic tolling," Logar said.
According to UKOM, the supervisory board of DARS has 14 days to prepare a report on the call for applications and possible findings of non-transparent or uneconomical actions.
This means that Slovenia is to continue using the toll sticker system, introduced for cars and motor bikes on 1 July 2008, and keep classic tolling for lorries.
Currently, the price of the annual sticker for cars stands at EUR 95, monthly stickers cost EUR 30 and weekly stickers EUR 15. Motorcycle owners pay EUR 47.50 for the annual, EUR 25 for the six-month and EUR 7.50 for the weekly sticker.