BUSINESS IN SHORT

Minister yields to truckers again

ROAD TRANSPORT operators unhappy with the new electronic highway toll system have sent a letter containing new demands to Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny, the SITA newswire reported.

ROAD TRANSPORT operators unhappy with the new electronic highway toll system have sent a letter containing new demands to Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny, the SITA newswire reported.

The Union of Slovak Road Carriers (UNAS) is demanding that tolls be charged only on first-category roads parallel to highways and dual carriageways covering a total length of 333 kilometres. Currently, 1,500 kilometres of first-category roads are subject to tolls; following protests, tolls have been lifted until January 31 while individual toll sections are modified.

At the same time, truck operators want to adjust toll sections on these roads so that users pay only for kilometres actually driven, as is stipulated in the original Act on Electronic Tolls from 2007. Vážny called this unrealistic.

The minister said he is willing to accept some of the demands. He plans to initiate changes to the electronic toll collection system in a way that the transporters would pay a toll only if they drive through an entire tolled section. Sections should not be longer than 700 metres and trucks would not be charged for the section on which they turn off a tolled road.

The Union of Slovak Cities, which groups the mayors of Slovakia's eight largest cities, has addressed all responsible authorities as well as members of parliament in an appeal to exempt vehicles used for regular public bus transport from road toll, SITA reported.


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