8 September 2020

Roadside service will contribute to the development of automobile tourism

Standards for placement of the roadside service facilities (RSF) may be revised in Russia to improve the safety and comfort of users. This issue was discussed at the session "The Role of Roadside Infrastructure when Developing the Territories of Highways of Avtodor State Company and Stimulating the Automobile Tourism" within the zero day of the International Forum "Innovative Technologies and Intelligent Transport Systems in Road Construction", which took place on September 7-9 in Sochi.
Representatives of the State Duma, the Ministry of Transport, Federal Agency for Tourism, regional authorities, the Federal Road Agency, public organizations and Avtodor State Company attended the session. Despite the wide range of participants, many aspects of road service development were noted unanimously.

Thus, Sergey Krivonosov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Association for Economic Interaction of Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation "Tourism Development Union of the Russian Federation", said that within the new law "On Tourism", being developed by the State Duma, the concept of "auto tourism" will be introduced to support the development of camping grounds in multifunctional zones (MFZ) and other services. Mr. Krivonosov noted that the main goal of the new law is to support the development of domestic tourism.

"Tourism Development Union of the Russian Federation" together with the tourism subcommittee headed by Krivonosov, the regions of the Russian Federation and Avtodor State Company have already developed and forwarded the Road to the South Project to the Federal Agency for Tourism, within which seven regions (through which M-4 "Don" Highway passes) will prepare additional sites for MFZ and camping grounds.
Grigory Volkov, Director of the Department of State Policy for Road Industry of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, and Aleksandr Sokolovsky, Head of the Department of Land and Property Relations of the Federal Road Agency, supported his position. They both noted the need to complete the conceptual framework, legislative framework and mechanisms for creating multifunctional road service zones, the development by road owners of General layouts of service facilities, the relevance of creating auto-tour routes and other tools for supporting the road service.

Vladimir Yashkov, Head of Department of the Federal Agency for Tourism, reported on allocation of RUB 1.2 billion for grants in development of service facilities, including motels, and other public initiatives. Along with the direct support measures, the Federal Agency for Tourism stands for expanding the regulatory framework, introducing quality control of service facilities, as well as unifying requirements and financing the regional roads that would connect highways with tourist attractions.
Anastasia Kozlova, General Director of Avtodor-Development LLC, said that the auto tourism development has an enormous potential, since according to some recent data, more than 60% of Russians are traveling only within their region, and 52% of them are traveling by vehicles. At the same time, according to the plans of the Federal Agency for Tourism, the Russians will make 140 million domestic tourist vehicle trips a year by 2030.
Andrey Artyukhov, President of the Interregional Public Organization of Auto Travelers "Caravaners League", proposed a number of measures that could create infrastructure for 1.25 million potential caravan tourists from abroad. He emphasized the lack of special parking areas for caravans, and noted that their creation could be included in the project to develop the national tourism. Among other things, the design of planned tourist routes, informing autotourists, and extensive work to popularize tourist attractions and small towns were proposed.

This point of view was supported by Marina Bondareva, Director of Tavolga Science and Culture Foundation. According to her, it is important to talk about world-class tourist attractions, pearls that are located in many regions of Russia, and remain without due attention today. The idea of creating the unified standard for navigation and tourist information was actively supported by representatives of many regions. For example, Voronezh Region, Novgorod Region and Rostov Region.
The development of multifunctional zones network will allow solving another important issue of reducing the risk of road accidents. Igor Astakhov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Avtodor State Company, focused on the comprehensive planning of infrastructure within each highway. "According to statistics, we can see that the most serious road accidents occur in the last kilometers before the finish line when people fall asleep while driving and the car becomes uncontrollable. To improve safety, the State Company considers it necessary to develop both rest sites and MFZs in a new format. But at the same time, we should work on creation of tourist routes so that the trip from the marathon turns into a pleasant trip with useful stops", — Igor Astakhov said.

Anastasia Kozlova spoke in her speech about the updated approach of Avtodor State Company to creation of MFZ. According to her forecasts, MFZs can become a support point for visiting the regions, a comfortable infrastructure for auto tourists and other road users, and, what is important, for local communities. The road should be open to local residents, maintain the unique product offer of the regions and preserve the uniqueness. In the future, MFZs will become a platform for marketing of territories: tourist centers, exhibition halls, information services, all this will support the economy and build work with a growing domestic tourist flow. The updated MFZs of the State Company can include from 13 to 32 different services (including gas stations, rest sites, children playgrounds, mini-markets, ATMs, telemedicine points, pharmacies, paramedic points, tire fitting services, points of release of Internet goods, animals walking areas, sports grounds, laundries, art objects). MFZs will receive their architectural face, quality environment and standardized formats for maintaining the service level.

Representatives of the regions agreed with these theses, and right during the session, Sergey Mansurov, Deputy Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Region, expressed interest in locating such MFZ.
All panel members agreed to continue working together to develop quick and practical tools for the road infrastructure development of Avtodor State Company in the region within the project for construction of a new highway M-12 Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod – Kazan.

Disputants agreed to continue working together to develop quick and practical tools for the road infrastructure development.
A single resolution will be drawn up following the session results.