The Verkhovna Rada has ratified a financial agreement between Ukraine and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to improve road safety. Some 334 deputies voted on Thursday for corresponding draft law No. 0014 of December 13, 2019, the parliament’s website said.
According to the text of the explanatory note, the agreement stipulates the provision by Ukraine of the EIB state guarantee to ensure the implementation of the project “Improving Road Safety in Ukrainian Cities.”
It is expected that the project will reduce the number of accidents and the severity of their consequences; increase the share of travel by bicycle, on foot or by public transport in the total volume of traffic and, accordingly, reduce the number of trips by private transport. In addition, the project will reduce the time spent by passengers at public transport stops, as well as the operating costs of road transport owners and emissions of harmful substances into the air.
According to Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy, the estimated cost of the project is EUR 177 million, of which an IEB loan is EUR 75 million (the agreement was signed on July 9, 2018), a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is estimated at EUR 75 million (it is planned to sign the agreement in 2020 year), and own funds of cities and technical assistance totaling EUR 27 million.
“Improving safety for the cities of Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Kamenetz-Podilsky includes improving the infrastructure of road intersections, infrastructure for cyclists and public transport, arranging facilities to reduce speed in settlements and near schools, etc.,” he said on his Facebook page on Thursday evening.
The law amending the law on automobile roads regarding the audit of road safety will open access to better financing of road construction by international financial institution (IFIs) for Ukraine, Senior Sector Engineer of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Per Mathiasen said at a press conference devoted to the results of the EIB Implementation Support to the Ukraine Urban Road Safety Project in Kyiv on Tuesday.
The European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, all of them stress the importance of road safety, he said.
Mathiasen said that Ukraine needed to change the construction of roads for the safety of road users.
The new law will ensure that safety will become an integral part of the design and planning of new roads, he said.
In addition, according to Mathiasen, the law will make new roads safe and accessible for everyone: cars, cyclists and public transport.
In turn, Deputy Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Natalia Forsiuk recalled that the government has set two key goals in the field of road infrastructure: “reducing travel time by 10% and reducing the number of traffic accidents by 30%.”
“That is, traffic safety is the only immediate priority of the government [in this area],” she said.
The main priority of the EIB Implementation Support to the Ukraine Urban Road Safety Project, which is funded by the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund and implemented by Egis Ukraine, is the development of the law of Ukraine on automobile roads regarding the audit of road safety, preparation of technical documentation and boosting the capacity necessary to implement the road infrastructure safety management procedures and to promote the adoption of the law and its enforcement.
In order to implement this project, on October 17, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the law amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine on road safety management. The law contains most of the provisions of EU Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management, which is a version of the EU law on road infrastructure safety management procedures.
As reported, acting head of the State Automobile Roads Authority of Ukraine (Ukravtodor) Slawomir Nowak said that EBRD and EIB are ready to provide Ukraine with a targeted loan in the amount of EUR 900 million for the development of the road industry in 2020.
The level of road accidents in Ukraine is much higher than in EU countries.