The statistical data collated by the World Economic Forum in the last eight years clearly show that, in terms of road quality, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the worst in the Western Balkan region.
The latest survey, done for 2018, shows that Serbia has been occupying the penultimate position since 2010.
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Current data show that, among the countries in the region, roads are the best in Croatia, which is ranked 19th (out of all the countries in the world) with a score of 5.5. Slovenia is ranked 51st with a score of 4.4, Montenegro is 88th with 3.5, Serbia is 100 with a score of 3.2 and Bosnia 109th with a score of 3. The list ranks a total of 137 countries.
Infrastructure experts in Serbia agree with the estimates presented in the World Economic Forum report and point out that the main reason for such a situation is inadequate construction and poor maintenance of roads.
Goran Rodić, Vice President of the Serbian Construction Chamber says that in order to assess the situation with road quality properly one has to consider the length of the road grid in a country.
According to him, the roads of the first, second and third categories in Serbia are in a bad state, that is, they are not adequately maintained.
“A big problem lies in the fact that road maintenance is given to unprofessional domestic companies, and that the main road construction is left to foreign companies. As a result, we lost our construction operatives since a large number of engineers and skilled workers went overseas to look for a job. We are now in a rather precarious situation that there is no-one to maintain the roads in Serbia, which is a huge problem,” Rodić added.
Ljubodrag Savić, a professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, agrees that our roads are in a very poor condition and that one of the main reasons for this was the fact that Serbia was first under economic sanctions and later bombed by NATO.
“We should not forget that part of our road infrastructure was destroyed, and after that, it was not restored and built at the same pace and intensity as planned. The situation has been looking much better in the last few years. A lot was built during this period. Also, new projects were agreed regarding the construction of Corridor 11, which is very significant. In other words, once the statistical data in question includes Corridors 10 and 11, I think it will be quite different, i.e. Serbia will be significantly better ranked,” Professor Savić says.
This post is also available in: Italiano