Time has come for new roads
August 1st brings tolls to М1 motorway
By Artem Kovalevsky
The Brest Region is the first to meet all vehicles and travellers entering Belarus from the West and, from August 1st, will be levying tolls along the length of its М1/Е30 motorway: part of the international Berlin-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod transport corridor. Stretching almost 250km, specialists of the road’s old Fedkovichi toll station are now replaced by 16 road toll collection points.
The new system is quite simple, with vehicles using special onboard devices to automatically pay the correct toll fee. Special tollgates have been installed along the whole length of paid roads (in the Brest Region this is a road section from Kozlovichi border checkpoint to the border with the Minsk Region). Fixed to the windshield, the device uses wireless technologies to connect with each tollgate, registering the vehicle’s journey and deducting money from the carrier’s balance. There’s no need to stop, ensuring that traffic flows more smoothly. Naturally, longer journeys on the toll road incur greater fees.
Passenger cars pay 0.04 Euros per kilometre, while two-axle vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes pay 0.08 Euros and three-axle cars over 3.5 tonnes pay 0.1 Euros. Meanwhile, vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes, with four or more axles, pay 0.12 Euros for each kilometre of toll road, making the approximate cost for a journey on the М1 paid section 10-30 Euros.
The toll fees are modest but should pay for maintenance, to ensure the roads of international importance are kept in superb order, making journeys faster and more comfortable.
It may seem that new rules tackle all drivers who travel through Belarus; however, drivers of only categories of transport vehicles should pay.
Vehicles registered within the Customs Union are exempt if they weigh under 3.5 tonnes, including mopeds and motorcycles, wheeled tractors and self-propelled vehicles registered in Belarus. Naturally, emergency vehicles and public transport are also exempt from paying fees. Meanwhile, drivers of all transport vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes (regardless of place of residence) should pay, as should those driving vehicles under 3.5 tonnes but which are registered beyond the borders of the Customs Union.
Local residents using the road regularly, for instance travelling between Brest and Baranovichi, won’t be affected by the toll, so have no need for worry.
European countries have been using similar mechanisms for many years, with their efficiency long proven.