Transportation is one of the key industries of the Czech economy with significant importance for international relations. Demand for passenger and goods transportation is constantly growing and it is the public administration's task to create legal and economic conditions for providing public transport services as well as for transport enterprises and to arrange traffic infrastructure adequate to growing transportation needs.
While preparing legislative and economic tools for transport regulation and infrastructure development, optimisation of traffic systems has to be pursued - within its frame environmentally-friendlier means of transport shall be developed so that they comply with the requirements of sustainable development and conform to the financial capabilities of Czech public budget at the same time.
The objective was to elaborate an update of the development of transport networks in the Czech Republic until 2015. The project does not leave the line of the approved programme but specifies a real succession of the construction and improvement of transport networks, considering financial possibilities, construction preparation status and transport urgency.
The study contained conceptually unstabilised segments of expressways (R1, R35, R43, R52) and transit railway corridors (3 and 4) in relation to land planning documentation and warnings on possible interferences with the NATURA 2000 network (D47, R6, R35, R48, R52, R55).
Analysis of the status of transport networks:
- density and hierarchic structure
- regional accessibility, level of residential units' connection and interconnection with European networks
- capacity of transport networks
- structurally - technical status (parameters)
- operationally - technical status (running characteristics)
- operational safety, environmental impact, economy of operations.
Needs analysis of transport networks:
- material needs, objectives, priorities, measures
- financial needs.
Analysis of financial capabilities:
- ensured financing resources
- possible new sources of financing.
Suggestion of the alternatives for transport networks' development till 2015:
- scheduled time of construction progress, incl. financial requirements
- graphically demonstrated succession of the construction.
Assessment of the alternatives in the light of:
- level of accomplishment of specifically defined objectives and priorities
- financial safeguard
- meeting the conditions of environmental protection
- conformity with land planning documentation.
The project produced:
- An alternate proposal for the development of transport networks till 2015 with an evaluation of the best alternative.
- Groundwork for the draft of Czech government resolution update no. 741/1999 with regard to development of transport networks till 2010.
It also designed the funds allocation system for transport infrastructure:
- based on more accurate input data and requirements
- as a groundwork to update Czech government resolution with regard to Development of transport networks by 2010 and with an outlook to 2015.
Key results are as follows:
- Recently there are 900 - 1 100 km of first class roads with exceeded capacity
- It was proved by loading road network with expected flow rates that it is not necessary to expand highway network for capacity reasons by 2030 provided that the highway and expressway network is completed as planned and that first class roads are upgraded to meet standard parameters.
- The capacity of railway lines is sufficient as the hauling performance has decreased. The tracks that have not yet been upgraded within the scope of transit railway corridor reconstruction, or electrified yet, as well as suburban area sections, are an exception.
- The capacity issue in aviation infrastructure is limited to passenger terminals in relation to meeting the terms of Schengen Agreement (the capacity is ensured by permanent reconstruction at Prague Ruzyne airport where most of the passenger aviation activity takes place), eventually to runway systems relating to required mobile laden weight of aircrafts.
Capacity assessment of transport networks by VISION/VISUM application was conducted.
RDS 2 computer model for the fund distribution among different kinds of traffic infrastructure and among categories of construction or maintenance works and for the evaluation of transport network development alternatives.
Technical condition of the constructions - transport network parameters:
- Standard parameters are met only by 55% of the first class roads' length, 15% of the second class roads' length and 13% of the third class roads' length.
- 2500 road bridges are in unsatisfactory technical condition.
- Track speed is lower than 80 km/h on 56% of the rail network's length, only 31% of it meets the requirement for axle load of 22.5 t, only 31% of the tracks are electrified, 47% of the tracks' length is curved or spatially constricted, only 32% of railway level crossings are equipped with light signals.
- Oscillation of acceptable parameters on the lower Elbe degrades the only waterway in the Czech Republic.
- Technical performance of the Prague - Ruzyne airport complies with the international standards.
Technical condition of the operation - running characteristics of the transport networks:
- The portion of pavements in unsatisfactory and emergency condition on the first class roads has risen to 49.9% (2 900 km) and 47 % of the second and third class roads` length (23 000 km) is in emergency condition.
- 18% of the national and 22 % of the regional railroad tracks' superstructure is in unsatisfactory condition. 62% of the railway bed's total length is unsatisfactory. Over 5000 railway crossings are secured only with warning crosses.
The concept of transport networks' development is appropriate and it is not necessary to add more highways, expressways and railway corridors in terms of capacity. Three alternatives of the transport network development have been elaborated, based on financial demands: optimal, realistic and minimal.
It was recommended to carry out the updated programme of transport network development according to the realistic alternative with regard to balanced development of transport networks and regions, connection of Czech Republic to European transport networks, lowering negative impacts of transportation on the environment and increasing the traffic safety.
Input data for elaborating the alternatives of transport networks` development by 2015:
- The time schedule for transport networks` development by 2010, approved by Czech government resolution no. 145 from 14 February 2001, is not being fulfilled. There is a delay in highway construction of c. 3 years, in expressway construction of 5 years and in transit railway corridors no. 3 and no. 4 of approximately 6 and 8 years respectively when compared to original expectations.
- The capacity of the program for transport networks' development by 2010, approved by Czech government resolution no. 741 from 21st January 1999, has been found to be sufficient for the period by 2030 when assessed from the perspective of future transportation needs.
Therefore it is not necessary to implement new routes into the approved transport networks' development programme for the insufficient capacity reasons.
- The updated proposal for transport networks development until 2015 aims to determine a real construction sequence with regard to financial possibilities and the status of construction preliminary works. Hence it is not a new conception but a fulfilment of the earlier approved programme.
- The proposal for transport networks' development by 2015 doesn't diverge from the programme framework assessed by SAE process in 1998, therefore it does not require new complex consultation in terms of the environmental protection. However it is necessary to elaborate the evaluation amendment for areas of ornithological importance (bird reserves) and locations of European importance with respect to a new regularization related to the introduction of NATURA 2000 network.
The following findings result from the project:
- The time schedule and financial coverage of the Proposal for the transport networks' deve