- Some of the roads are planned to remain free of charge for heavy goods vehicles
- Vehicles used for domestic supplies remain with a toll fees several times lower than the other European toll systems
The intensification of trade relations within the EU and its main commercial partners resulted in a significant increase in traffic from and through the territory of Bulgaria. Maintenance costs and the need to modernize the road infrastructure are constantly increasing. All this, as well as the increased demand of the national road network users on its quality and safety, requires the decision of the Ministry Of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) to change the financing model.
The fairest internationally accepted model for sharing the burden of maintenance costs for the road network is by paying toll taxes. It is based on the principle "who damages, pollutes and uses more - pays more". Following these rules and model, the introduction of the toll system in Bulgaria is an urgent reform. It will provide a long-term solution for the fair financing of the maintenance, construction and improvement of the road infrastructure in Bulgaria.
The range of toll roads in Bulgaria is planned to include 10,800 km out of 20,000 km national road network. These are highways, first-class roads, and some second-class and third-class roads in good condition.
The MRDPW provides for almost 30,000 km of roads to be free of charge for heavy goods vehicles - 10,000 km of the national road network and 20,000 km of the municipal roads.
The World Bank (the consultant for the Bulgarian tolling system project) suggests that the toll taxes in Bulgaria will be around and below Europe’s average. They will be in the low range for the heavy-goods vehicles from 3.5 to 12 tons and in the average range for those over 12 tons. A relatively low rate will be applied for buses and the expected revenue from them will be comparable with the vignettes fees.
As a secondary effect of the introduction of the toll system, increase in the efficiency of transport and improvement in the emission characteristics of the vehicles are expected.
According to the World Bank estimates and proposed tariffs, the introduction of the toll system should have minimal effect on basic commodity prices. Studies on other toll systems after their introduction show a real increase of only 0.15%.
The proposed toll rates will be discussed at expert level and in dialogue with transport companies, covering all the views, key parameters and the impact they will have.