'By 2020, the number of automobiles in Russia will exceed 60 million, and currently there are 30 million cars in the country,' according to Deputy Transport Minister Alexander Kolik. As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, Kolik made the remark Wednesday at a seminar on Russian and EU transportation strategies. He said the number of cars in Russia was growing at an annual rate of 7-10%.
'Automobile transport accounts for only 12% of cargo traffic in Russia, whereas in the European section of the country that figure totals 40%, and in external trade more than 60%,' Kolik said. He said the total length of traffic jams on roads leading into Moscow and St. Petersburg was 1,500 kilometers.
He added that it was currently impossible to artificially limit the growth in the number of cars, as this would limit the growth of the Russian economy. 'That is why Russia's transportation strategy calls for the doubling of investment in road construction,' he said. He said that by 2020, the majority of Russian population centers would have access to roads all year round, while eight out of 10 Russian families would have access to a car.