Pace of motorway construction in Czech Republic ‘too slow’, claims NGO

Motorway construction in the Czech Republic is too slow compared to other EU member states, despite government reassurance about the huge investments targeting the infrastructure sector.

According to an NGO, Hlídač státu (National Watchdog), over the past 15 years Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria have built more kilometres of motorways, crucial to long-term economic growth, than the Czech Republic.

“Only 300 kilometres of new motorways have been built in the Czech Republic since the year 2000, roughly one-fifth of what Hungary has managed,” said Hlídač státu’s founder Michal Bláha. “Last year only four kilometres of new motorways were built.”

“It is true that the Hungarians, for example, initially had a shorter motorway network than we did. But the pace they and others have achieved is quite high. The differences are huge. Countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia have made minimal progress, and in absolute numbers the differences are truly enormous,” he added.

According to the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ), for the Czech Republic to complete its planned motorway network by 2050, some 25 kilometres of motorways would have to be opened annually while the actual average pace for the past five years has been 16 kilometres per year.

Despite work on the Prague to Brno D1 highway first beginning in 1967, it is still not complete. The Ministry of Transport claims that 47 kilometres of new motorway will be built this year.