Due to its geographical location in the centre of Europe, the Czech Republic is very much dependent on the quality of its transport infrastructure and its connection to neighbouring countries. However, a new study carried out by Raiffesienbank shows that the quality of roads in the Czech Republic is the sixth lowest in the European Union.
Between the years 2010 and 2017, the Czech Republic invested 120 billion crowns less than other similar-sized EU countries, suggests the Raiffeisenbank study. That sum translates into roughly 800 kilometres of highways.
In the same period, the Czech Republic’s road index quality increased from 3.6 to 4 points on a seven-point scale, while in neighbouring Poland, it improved from 2.6 to 4.1 points. According to the authors of the study, an improvement by one point would lead to an increase of per capita GDP by 5.7 percentage points.
The Road and Motorway Directorate estimates that the journey between the Czech Republic’s two biggest cities, Prague and Brno, along the D1 motorway, should take about an hour and 45 minutes.
However, due to persisting problems with its reconstruction, it currently takes at least half an hour longer. The delay causes time and production losses amounting to over one billion crowns a year.
The survey also points out that connectedness to the highway network has a significant effect on employment levels in the regions.
After the city of Ostrava was connected to the highway network, unemployment in the region started to decrease, gradually reaching the nationwide average. The region of South Bohemia, which is still off the network, is currently experiencing a reverse development.
At the moment, the Czech Republic is still lacking some 800 kilometres of highways, which, according to the original plans, should be completed by 2030. However, an analysis of the Supreme Audit Office suggests this is unlikely to happen.
Last year, only four kilometres of new highways were completed in the Czech Republic. This year, the estimate is that Czech highways will be extended by just 26 kilometres.
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