bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 25.04.2018 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala
LatviaLatvia

Latvian government’s and industry experts’ opinions for transport sector go on two different paths

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUWhat is the situation with Latvia’s roads? What results have been achieved in passenger transport field? Is there development observed for railway transports, and what is happening with the country’s transit sector? Looking at the past two years, Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis mentions major developments for nearly all transport and communications sectors. Industry experts, on the other hand, are of a different opinion.

The government claims that the state of the country’s main roads has improved. Latvian road construction association disagrees.

Transport ministry notes that important maintenance work has been performed on the country’s main roads, adding that the state of roads have been improved significantly. Regional and local roads were repaired as well. The same applies to bridges. Work was performed on a total of 1,141 km of roads in 2016 and 1,100 km in 2017.

The planned funding for state roads network in 2018 is EUR 307 million, which is EUR 35.8 million more than last year. Augulis says the largest funding of recent years has been provided for maintenance of local gravel roads.

‘For many years gravel roads in Latvia have been neglected. Because of lacking funding, their state has become very poor. This year’s planned road maintenance is the most expansive in Latvia’s history. A total of EUR 33.7 million, which is at least three times more than the funding allocated in the last five years. While planning road maintenance, I also continue working on restoration of the Road Fund to secure stable and targeted funding for state roads. Both society and the industry expect that,’ says Augulis.

Although Augulis believes the situation with roads in Latvia has improved dramatically, Latvijas Ceļu būvētājs voices an entirely different opinion: ‘The catastrophic situation we see on Latvia’s roads is the consequence of the policy that has been present since 2004, when the Road Fund was liquidated. The money paid by residents for using roads was used for some unknown purposes, but definitely not on road repairs.’

BNN had previously reported that the association had mentioned that degrading gravel roads in 169 locations throughout Latvia cause traffic restrictions along a total distance of 1,300 km. Those roads are important for municipalities, businesses and residents of rural regions.

Improvements added to passenger transport regulations

The ministry notes that passenger transport routes have been actively improved to ensure better accessibility of services and better interconnection of administrative territories. An appropriate regulation has been adopted to ensure Road Transport Directorate is able to create an information system to keep track of state-provided public transport benefits and keep electronic records to help public transport service providers identify benefit recipients, says the transport minister.

What is happening with transit industry?

Hot talks were present in transit industry last year.

As previously noted by Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics President Inga Antāne, Latvijas dzelzceļš carried 43 million tonnes of cargoes in 2017, which is the lowest volume of cargoes in the past fifteen years. «On top of that, there are not reasons to expect cargo volumes to stop declining – the lowest point has yet to be reached,» BATL warns.

Antāne had previously mentioned the severity of the situation, saying that «inaction has already created serious problems for Latvia’s national economy, and those problems will become topical for all residents». The minister, however, provided a completely different look at things. «The increase of container cargoes experienced by Latvian ports in 2017 is a positive development – the increase was 15.9%, which is the best index we’ve seen so far», the minister said.

Augulis also mentioned strengthened cooperation with China in the development of railway transports. «Several test trains to and from Chine were organized. At the same time, we have created a route to India, and have commenced cooperation with Lianyungang port in China. This cooperation is important for attraction of cargoes from Japan and South Korea,» says Augulis.

Aviation sector reaches the stars

The ministry emphasizes that rapid and successful development has been continuing in the aviation industry for years now. The minister says Riga International Airport had serviced more than six million passengers last year, which indicates successful development of the airport as an important air traffic hub.

«One other important point of contribution is also the development of Liepaja airport. The airport has been certified for summer and winter flights. In May 2017, airBaltic commenced regular flights on the Liepaja-Riga route, improving the region’s accessibility and contributing to the region’s economic development,» said the minister.

In 2017, airBaltic carried a total of 3,523,300 passengers or 22% more than the year before to different destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East.

This is the largest number of passengers carried in the airline’s history, airBaltic reports.

Advantages provided by railway remain unused

In an interview with BNN, Baltic Express board chairman Māris Bremze mentioned: «Railway infrastructure in Latvia is in good shape. However, it is used at 25-30% of its total capacity. 70% of the railway network remains unused for cargo or passenger transports.»

Transport Ministry claims that the number of railway passengers has been growing steadily for the past two years. A total of 17,074,906 passengers were carried by rail in 2016 (1.1% more than 2015). The number of passengers carried in 2017 was 17,333,380.

Augulis says while the number of passengers continues to decrease in other forms of public transport, Pasažieru vilciens continues registering more and more passengers. Last year, the company carried 1.5% more passengers than it did in 2016. The increase in diesel train sector was 4.5%.

Ref: 225.109.109.4209


Leave a reply

«Oligarch talks» publication law put on hold; will fabricated «risks» impact UGF?

On Tuesday, 25 April, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee decided against putting up for a vote the legislative draft for the digitization and publication of the declassified portion of materials from the so-called oligarch talks criminal case.

OECD to perform independent audit of decisions made by Latvian supervisory services

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development plans to perform an independent audit of decisions made by the Finance Capital and Market Commission and Anti-money Laundering Service, as confirmed by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola after a meeting of Finance Sector Development Council on 25 April.

Level of prices of agricultural products in Latvia grew 11.6% in 2017

The total price index of agricultural output in 2017 had increased by 11.6 %, which was mainly due to the rise in prices of livestock products of 25.8 %. The price index of crop products grew by 2.2 %.

51% of residents would not purchase goods production of which would pollute the environment

Environment-friendly lifestyle in Latvia, like elsewhere in the world, is becoming more popular every day. So-called green thinking also affects Latvian residents’ habits. 53% of Latvian residents prefer goods and services that help protect the environment, according to results of a study performed by AS Latvijas Zaļais punkts.

World Press Freedom index ranks Estonia highest among Baltic states

The French-based organisation Reporters Without Borders has published its 2018 World Press Freedom index, where Estonia has been ranked 12th and Latvia has been moved up by four positions to the 24th place.

Abu Meri: parliamentary investigative committee could help combat corruption in Riga City Council

«Nils Ušakovs’ policy in Riga is not only non-democratic but also allows for systematic corruption, which has become a tradition. If a week goes by with no scandal, it seems too long. Because of that, I consider forming a parliamentary investigative committee to study corruption in Riga City Council,» said Unity’s Saeima faction leader Hosams Abu Meri in an interview to BNN.

200 thousand Estonian e-mail passwords found leaked online

The global database of the illegally leaked passwords of tons of e-mail addresses contains passwords used by some 215 000 Estonian internet users.

Latvian EC Commissioner invites businesses to prepare for all Brexit scenarios

Businesses and supervisors should prepare for all possible Brexit scenarios, said Deputy Chairman of the European Commission on Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Market Union Valdis Dombrovskis participating in the ongoing finance forum City Week in the UK.

Latvia prepared to pay 4.8 million euros for participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai

Latvian government is prepared for participation in the international Expo 2020 in Dubai. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis said after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers this Tuesday that it is planned to allocate EUR 4.8 million for this venture.

Spanish resort city to prohibit renting apartments to tourists

Palma, the Spanish resort city in the Mediterranean island of Majorca, has adopted a restriction that apartment will be not allowed to rent their apartments to travellers, becoming the first place in Spain to introduce such a ban.

Supreme Court of Justice views Kristovskis’ claim against Ventspils City Council

On 25 April, the Administrative Cases Department of the Supreme Court of Justice will be viewing two claims submitted by Ventspils City Council deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis against the city council. «The fact that the case will be viewed verbally and that the defendants include Ventspils City Council, EPRDM and Association of Local Governments is considered unique and unprecedented in Latvia’s court practice,» says Kristovskis.

Messaging app Whatsapp not to be available to under-16s in EU

The smartphone messaging app Whatsapp plans to raise the minimum age limit to its European Union users from 13 to 16 years, as it is adjusting its rules of use to the upcoming EU data privacy regulations.

Saeima speaker in Tallinn: EU and NATO cooperation in defence should be enhanced

Close cooperation between European Union and NATO in defence is now more important than ever. This is especially true for cyber security and hybrid-thread prevention, said Latvian Saeima’s speaker Ināra Mūrniece during a meeting of EU member states parliaments in Tallinn on Tuesday, 24 April.

Ministry avoids going against supporting parties; Ventspils City Council’s violations reported to court

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has no influence at all, and sometimes it seems it has no desire to exercise its rights and perform its duties. This situation most likely appeared because the institution is led by a minister who represents a specific political party.

Warfare in Ukraine escalates, soldiers wounded

In the Donbas War that continues for the fifth year in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, Russian hybrid forces have this week conducted a total of 44 attacks, wounding five soldiers, the Ukrainian military reports.

Demand for mortgage loans grew 53% in March

Increased demand for mortgage loans with state guarantees was observed in Latvia in March. Nearly every other loan application filed last month was intended for housing purchase using Altum guarantee. The largest amount of interest came from families with children, as reported by Citadele Bank.

Most businesses in Latvia still not ready for data protection regulation

The majority of businesses in Latvia are still not ready for EU General Data Protection Regulation, which is due to come to force on 25 May, says KPMG lawyer and certified data protection specialist Sanita Pētersone.

Finnish prisoners found radicalising towards Islamic and far-right extremism

In prisons in Southern Finland, a study of radicalisation of inmates has been conducted and has identified dozens of inmates, who are moving into either radical Islam or into far-right violent extremism.

Ušakovs invites colleagues from Russia to attend centenary festivities in Riga

Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs has invited mayors from 56 cities to attend festivities organized for Latvia’s centenary. This includes mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as confirmed by Ušakovs’ press-secretary Laila Ivāna.

Estonian President sees no return from e-governance

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed with Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the Baltic country's experience in providing public e-services to the population.

Norway interested in developing cooperation with Latvia in tourism industry

«Latvia welcomes successful regional and economic cooperation with Norway. Our countries have common values and goals – developing Baltic and Nordic countries as a wealthy and secure European region,» said Latvia’s Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens during his meeting with Norwegian State Secretary for Trade, Industry and Fisheries Roy Angelvik.

Finland not to continue its basic income scheme

The basic income scheme in Finland that has been tested in the Nordic country since 2017, will not be continued as the Finnish government has decided to look into other schemes for reforming the Finnish social security system

MEP: New Unity may be in the government with other parties that have similar goals

After Saeima elections, New Unity will cooperate with parties prepared to work with the association to accomplish specific goals, says leader of New Unity and member of the European Parliament Krišjānis Kariņš.

Canada experiences tragic attack on pedestrians in Toronto

In the Canadian city of Toronto, a driver has been driving onto pedestrians taking the lives of 10 people and injuring 15 more.

Latvian residents spend an average of EUR 81 on cosmetics every year

Latvian residents spend an average of EUR 81 on cosmetics every year, which is one of the lowest indexes in Europe. Compared to other Baltic States, Latvian residents spend less money on cosmetics, according to data compiled by Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association.