Economic and Regional-economic Impact of Transport Infrastructure. Focus on Secondary and Local Roads

  • Project lead:
  • Stefan Schönfelder

In the context of a long-term financing framework for the maintenance of secondary and local roads in Austria, the extension of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) pricing is discussed. Although the socio- and regional economic impact of high-quality transport infrastructure is uncontested, public maintenance investment of the Austrian Länder and municipalities has been scarce for years. Among others, regional and local roads induce important network effects and they are an essential prerequisite of transport and mobility on the regional level. The debate about sufficient financial resources for the maintenance of non-tolled roads is European: looking at solutions to maintenance funding developed elsewhere places the Austrian discussion on extending HGV tolling in an interesting perspective. A survey among the regional road administrations of Austria finally provided informative evaluations of the potential negative effects of a maintenance backlog. The effects include traffic safety issues and increasing costs of maintenance in the longer run.