Oleg Butkovic Talks Toll Booth Abolition, Safety at Sea and More

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

Croatian toll booths are due to enter the history books, and Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, has revealed, among other things just when that will happen.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of August, 2020, the traditional action “Safe Navigation/Sigurna Plovidba” has fulfilled its goal. Out of about 400 controls carried out, 120 violations were recorded on the 11th of August, Butkovic stated in conversation with Dnevnik.

“The action is more and more educational in they way in which it points out all of the dangers that threaten people when out at sea. This year, there were about 400 inspections and 120 violations were identified. We’re working on preventing tragedies occurring at sea,” Oleg Butkovic explained to HRT.

He also stressed that nautical traffic in Croatia has been at the level of what was recorded during the first two weeks in August last year, which is encouraging given the turbulent times in which we’re currently living.

A traditional action of enhanced navigation safety supervision was carried out on the Adriatic on the 11th. The aim was to check the readiness and efficiency of all relevant services during the tourist season, when the number of vessels typically increases. The most common and most dangerous offense is gliding less than 300 metres from the shoreline.

Minister Oleg Butkovic also commented on the situation with Croatian tourism this year. He expressed satisfaction with the tourist achievements, emphasising that no one expected such figures given the dire circumstances and even more dire predictions.

“The total number of active boats is at about 70 percent of the realisation when compared to last year, and for yachts longer than 20 metres, we’re at the level of about 85 percent. The Republic of Croatia has proven to be a safe destination, and as far as nautical tourism is concerned, we’re the first destination in the world,” he pointed out.

For 2022, he announced the implementation of a new, contactless toll payment/collection system. He explained that the process of changing the toll collection method was completed before the elections, the tender is ready, and it will be released this autumn.

No delays are expected at the construction site of the Peljesac Bridge, despite the coronavirus pandemic throwing a spanner in the works because of the previous difficulties in access experienced by Chinese workers.

“Last week, 150 specialised Chinese workers arrived in Croatia. The works around the access roads are going well and it is expected that the works will be completed on time,” assured Oleg Butkovic.

When asked about the procurement of more than 20 new trains, he said that Koncar’s offer had been received for the HZ passenger transport tender, worth around 1 billion kuna, which is financed from EU funds in the amount of 85 percent. After the conclusion of the contract, the first train will be delivered in 24 months, and in 35 months, all of the other trains will follow.

”Due to the ongoing crisis with air transport, the process of finding a strategic partner had to come to a halt. A solution must be found to help Croatia Airlines. We will find a solution in line with European regulations, and once the situation stabilises, we’ll complete the process of finding a strategic partner,” he concluded.

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