GERMANY'S FIRST privately financed motorway is experiencing only 20% of the traffic forecast in its tender plans, it was revealed last month.
Just 8,500 vehicles are using the Warnow tunnel crossing every day in north eastern Germany instead of the 44,000 that were predicted in 1994, said Alf iegler, construction manager for concessionaire Warnowquerung.
Ziegler was speaking at last month's European Local Associations Conference.
The road was built to reduce congestion around the coastal town of Rostock, which is known for hosting international exhibitions.
It was hoped that long haul lorries would use the route. The £146M, 790m long immersed tube tunnel was built by French contractor Bouygues and opened in September 2003.
But Ziegler admitted that 80% of traffic was local, with very few lorries using the toll road.
Cars are charged less than £1.30, while lorries have to pay £6.67.
'Unfortunately, heavy goods vehicles can pass along the newly built A20 [motorway] 10km south of Rostock for free, instead of paying the crossing toll, ' said Ziegler.
He added that Rostock's road plans had not been developed when the Warnow crossing was conceived. Since the crossing opened in 2003, new routes across Rostock were attracting much of the traffic.
The concession company will operate the crossing for 30 years.