Trucks and buses weighing more than 3.5 tonnes will not have to pay tolls to use almost 1,500 kilometres of first-category roads between January 14 and January 31 of this year, the Transport Ministry has announced.
On January 14, a ministry regulation from 2009 covering electronic toll collection on selected sections of highways, dual carriageways and first-category roads was revised to introduce a temporary zero tariff on first-category roads. The aim is to allow enough time to shorten some of the longer tolled road sections.
The step is one of several measures adopted after talks at the Government Office on Monday, January 11, which were provoked by hauliers’ protests. Other concessions agreed in order to pacify the hauliers, who have been incensed by delays and high charges which they say have accompanied the introduction of the new toll system, included lower excise tax on diesel.
Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny stated on January 13 that he still rejects the hauliers’ demand not to charge tolls on first-category roads, including sections which are not close to a highway. He has talked down the possibility of halving the toll rate. The minister said he plans to increase the more than 800 toll sections of highways, dual carriageways and first category roads by 240 sections by the end of this month. This would mean that longer sections are shortened so that vehicles which are liable for tolls pay only for the kilometres they actually drive and not for whole sections, as is the case now.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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14. Jan 2010 at 15:00