The International Road Federation (IRF) was invited – together with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpilke Association (IBTTA) – to the General Assembly of the Italian Association of Toll Highways Concessionaires (AISCAT). Bill Halkias, IRF Immediate Past President and current First Vice President to IBTTA was present in Rome on 25th January 2023 to speak about the crucial role of tolling in financing, building, maintaining and improving safe and reliable road infrastructure for its users.
Many of the world’s most important roadways would not have been built without a toll concession. This has been demonstrated around the world, especially in Europe, where more than 50,000 km of motorways have been built thanks to the model.
Bill Halkias spoke on the importance of the toll concession model by sharing his 40 years of “Greek Experience” in the road transport sector. Halkias said the Greek State has largely benefited from the concession model—which has been used to develop, operate, and maintain the country’s HELLASTRON network of toll roads, despite the harsh economic crisis hitting the country from 2010 to 2014.
He also provided insights on how the ‘user pays principle’, which road concessions rely upon, is widely accepted as a transparent and fair method of infrastructure financing. “Toll Road Concessionaires do not just offer a journey to their users. As all these people are paying tolls, they demand a safe journey. It is not a secret that Toll Motorways are the safest mode of road transport, as it becomes evident from the road use safety figures and statistics,” he said.
In his closing remarks, Halkias commended the ties built between AISCAT and IRF and expressed the will to see this partnership growing in the future.