Someone will object: after all, there are achievements. In fact, last year 914 km of new roads and 13 km of bridges and overpasses were commissioned. A section of the new federal highway “Amur” (Chita-Khabarovsk) with a length of 281.6 km was launched, part of the St. Petersburg Ring Road was completed - from Priozersky Highway to the federal highway “Russia”, as well as a cable-stayed bridge across the Neva with interchanges. Do not forget that, according to official figures, as many as 20.5 km of the Don federal highway have been reconstructed in the Voronezh and Rostov regions, and 1223 km of roads have been thoroughly repaired.
But to whom it is not clear that on the scale of a country as vast as Russia these “achievements” are a mere trifle, and in any case, one should not beat the timpani in this regard. Especially when you consider that, according to Goskomstat, in 2004 we had 156 cars per thousand inhabitants (this is comparable to the countries of Eastern Europe), and the road availability for the same thousand was only 4.12 km, which is 10 times less than, say, in Poland. For the Russian economy to develop at least somehow, the length of public roads, according to experts, needs to be increased to 1.5 million km, despite the fact that we have about 600 thousand km, of which 27% have long been overloaded …
The saddest thing: funding for the road industry is declining year after year. According to Oleg Belozerov, in 2005, 90.9 billion rubles were allocated for the maintenance of the road economy in the federal budget (12.7 billion less than in 2004). Rosavtodor estimates that if money will continue to be allocated in such portions, then by 2010 no more than 19% of federal roads will be in good condition. The number of accidents due to road conditions will increase by 15–20%, and the average speed on large roads will fall by 20%. Not a happy prospect at all. Maybe in the regions differently?
NOT BETTER AND AT REGIONAL
Two years ago, the government made a landmark decision by eliminating territorial road funds. They explained this by "numerous abuses and fraud by the governors." In exchange, the subjects were offered two other sources of financing for road construction - targeted taxes (including transport) and excise taxes on petroleum products. Alas, in most regions the amounts collected were simply miserable. “When the road tax was abolished, the regions were promised to compensate for the losses with additional deductions of income tax, increase in rates and redistribution of excise taxes on fuels and lubricants,” explains Mikhail Zadornov, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes. - However, all revenues from excise taxes on fuels and lubricants were concentrated in approximately 10–13 regions with large oil refineries. The rest were left with nothing.”