THE UNION of Slovak Road Carriers (UNAS), which recently organised various protests against Slovakia’s new e-toll collection system, has issued a strike notice for February 1, for an indefinite period.
The truckers say they have done so to voice their dissatisfaction with the 1,400 kilometres of first-class roads on which a toll is now charged, the SITA newswire reported.
UNAS says that tolls should be paid only on 333 kilometres of first-class roads that run parallel to highways and dual carriageways.
The head of UNAS’s organisational committee, Jaroslav Polaček, said they are still demanding suspension of all e-tolls until the end of June.
The small and medium-sized trucking firms will remain on strike alert until February 1 and until then they are prepared to talk about their demands with competent authorities, SITA wrote.
According to SITA, a truckers’ strike has support from the National Association of Employers (RÚZ), the Slovak Trade Chamber and the Association of Entrepreneurs of Slovakia.
Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny has already rejected the truckers’ demand to reduce the size of the network of first-class roads that are subject to tolls as well as their demand to pay only for actual kilometres driven and not for whole sections.
After the negotiations Vážny stated that if a vehicle does not use the whole measured section of a tolled road and departs from part of it, the vehicle will not pay a full toll or will have a zero toll-rate for that section.
“This means a certain concession from the state as well as having to deal with lost revenue for that section,” Vážny said.
Beginning in February, vehicles are expected to pay e-tolls on first-class roads for 1,006 modified sections which are 5 kilometres in maximum length and beginning in April on 1,700 shortened sections with an average length of 700 metres.
According to Vážny, this is the maximum concession that the government can make towards the trucking firms.
1. Feb 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff