Transport Minister Happy with Record in Office
Ljubljana, 26 October - A rise in investment in railway infrastructure and better road traffic safety are among the achievements Transport Minister Patrick Vlacic cited on Wednesday as he took stock of the 2008-2011 term.
This term, the ministry has demonstrated that transport is about more than just roads, Vlacic told a press conference in Ljubljana.
He said one of the priorities at the outset of the term was to improve road traffic safety. The ministry has set up a road safety agency and adopted new traffic regulations.
Vlacic said that the move had turned out to be appropriate as a 50% drop in the number of road traffic deaths in 2010 placed Slovenia among the top third of EU countries in road safety.
Among the achievements the outgoing minister also cited the completion of the motorway network; the final section Peracica - Podtabor (NW) will be opened on Friday.
Vlacic also mentioned the solution of the row over motorway toll stickers with the European Commission, which allowed further use of EU funds while at the same time securing sustainability of the tolling system.
Several national zoning plans have been adopted in this term, including the one for the development of Slovenia's sole commercial port Koper and the one for the Drazenci-Gruskovje section, which will enable the completion of the A9 Pyhrn motorway.
The public passenger transport authority will be operative as of 1 January 2012, bringing together all resources to encourage the use of public transportation, while the project of integrated public transportation with a single ticket will be completed by 2013.
Investment in rail infrastructure increased from EUR 193m in the previous term to EUR 640m this term, including the funds earmarked in the 2012 budget.
The national aviation and maritime programmes have also been adopted, while a programme for rail infrastructure will be presented to the public in the coming days.
The ministry has also drawn up plans for the developments of the airports in Ljubljana and Maribor by 2040, and is working with the airport operator Aerodrom Ljubljana to acquire EU funds.
Also launched in this term was the Civil Aviation Agency, and the ministry has been involved in the capital injection to rescue the flag carrier Adria Airways.