Construction of toll highways in Kazakhstan28 september 2011, 02:12
Toll roads have long been discussed by the government of Kazakhstan and have long been a concern for the population. They may seem natural to many Westerners and Easterners, but Kazakhstan has never had a toll highways tradition.
Some people believe that toll roads would be a good development, but most expect them to only complicate things. This is especially true with people who don’t travel much and care little about the condition of inter-city highways.
There are 88.9 thousand kilometers of roads in Kazakhstan. The density of automobile roads with hard surface is 32.4 km per every 1000 square km. So, what concerns the Government, introduction of the toll would help it find private companies willing to construct new roads and maintain roads in good condition. This would be a relief, because Kazakhstan is a vast country and right now this responsibility rests solely on the Governments shoulders.
Better roads would do a lot of good to the country’s economy in general. Right now the poor condition of Kazakhstan’s highways adds up significantly to the final cost of goods: 11%. For comparison, the share of transportation costs in the final cost in industrialized countries normally makes 4-4.5%.
The Institute of Political Solutions in partnership with the Association of Sociologists and Political Scientists made the opinion survey to clearly determine Kazakh citizens’ attitude to the idea of introduction of toll highways. The poll covered 1400 respondents from Astana, Almaty and 14 oblasts of Kazakhstan – both urban and rural population.
A majority of the respondents are against construction of toll roads in Kazakhstan.
Employees of the transport sector of Kazakhstan are the most optimistic group, but even among them the negative attitude prevails: there are 1.7% more people who are negative about toll roads than positive ones among them.
The negative attitude is 2.9 more widespread than the positive one among the population not involved in transportation-related jobs. In case of representatives of S&MBs the negative attitude prevails 2.5 more often than the positive one.
© Institute of Political Solutions
For more information of Kazakhstan transport networks please see International Transport Corridors in Kazakhstan, a study by the Institute of Political Solutions.