«We must all be aware of the an unavoidable need for the country to modernize its infrastructural assets. In many cases motorway bridges and tunnels are over 50 years old. Our company is making a huge effort to guarantee another 30-50 years of useful life for the works under management.
This is a ‘activities of strategic interest, which concern not only Aspi, but all Italian managers infrastructure, public and private. Aspi is in the front row and has already foreseen 21.5 billion euros for modernization and the development of the network, most of which in the next 10 years, including interventions foradaptation to the most recent regulations introduced for bridges and tunnels.
Without forgetting the users, for whom a substantial novelty is foreseen: the reimbursement of the toll if, due to works on the motorway, the travel time is significantly longer than the average of the route. An absolute innovation in Europe, decided together with the Ministry of Infrastructure (Mims) as part of the settlement agreement “.
To underline this is theCEO of Aspi, Roberto Tomasi, in an interview with The sun 24 hours. “We are ready to explain to anyone the effort we are making, right from the lockdown, and the reasons why we have to do it. Here the quality and durability of the country’s infrastructure are at stake, which depend exclusively on the way in which we will be able to plan today the necessary modernization and adaptation interventions, to current regulations, of our structures. A complex job, which will take at least 10 years, but absolutely necessary and dutiful “.
The request to the government is that of “certainty of the rules which regulate modernization interventions and from which the relative planning of interventions derives. This is a crucial step, which has a direct impact on users. One year after the Mims guidelines for managing the country’s infrastructure assets, we are able to compare the experience gained with the regulatory framework, to understand if these forecasts need improvement. For this reason we asked for theinitiation of discussions with the ministry to improve procedures, above all for the management of the “transitional phase”, that is the time that elapses between the moment in which the need to start a job is ascertained and the moment in which the construction sites actually start.
On the knot of the reimbursements to users for inconveniences caused by construction sites on the motorway, Tomasi explains that on the cashback “we have already dealt with Mims and we are also representing to the Antitrust. We must be sure – he highlights – that this is a direct mechanism: if i modernization works along the network create inconvenience to users, the right to reimbursement is immediately triggered.
At the heart of this mechanism is the objective measurement of travel time along the routes. Motorists will be able to access, thanks to Free to X app, soon available, to a refund of the toll based on the actual travel time of your itinerary, where significantly greater than the averages for the period.
For this project, in the economic-financial plan of Aspi, they were 250 million euros planned. We will launch on an experimental basis a free app for refunds in August; we will test it with about 10 thousand users to improve it. The service will be available to everyone by the end of the summer. I think it is fair to remember that a reduction in tariffs is still active today on the sections affected by the major construction sites “.
Come on possible toll increases on the Aspi network, “given that in the last two years the increase in tolls along our network has been equal to zero, based on the economic-financial plan currently at Mims and according to the model established by the Art (Transport Regulatory Authority), it is foreseen – reminds the CEO – in the coming years an increase in tolls of 1.64% per year, to support investments and maintenance “.