NEWS IN SHORT

Lower speed limit on six-lane highway

ONE year after the highway between Bratislava and Trnava was broadened to three lanes in each direction, drivers are now being ordered to drive at a lower speed. Because of the heavy traffic between the two cities and the absence of usable shoulders or emergency stopping areas on the road Transport Minister Ján Figeľ is proposing to lower the speed limit from 130 kilometres per hour to 110 from November 1.

ONE year after the highway between Bratislava and Trnava was broadened to three lanes in each direction, drivers are now being ordered to drive at a lower speed. Because of the heavy traffic between the two cities and the absence of usable shoulders or emergency stopping areas on the road Transport Minister Ján Figeľ is proposing to lower the speed limit from 130 kilometres per hour to 110 from November 1.

Moreover, drivers will be required to keep a minimum distance of 70 metres between vehicles. To make the road safer, the National Highway Company (NDS) has also been instructed to build 13 emergency stopping areas along the route, the Sme daily wrote.

The highway between Bratislava and Trnava has probably the densest traffic in Slovakia and its extension to six lanes became operational in November 2009. But the highway project is not yet complete as there are no shoulders or other places to stop if there is an accident or mechanical problems.

Figeľ said the first six emergency stopping areas, to be finished by mid November, will be 60 metres long and three metres wide and that by the end of June 2011 the NDS will finish the remaining seven areas. The total project will cost €830,000. In subsequent years, proper shoulders will be built along the whole stretch of highway.

Former transport minister Ľubomír Vážny said that this proposal for 13 emergency stopping areas was a waste of money and that efforts should instead be focused on using the available funds to build the proper shoulders over the entire stretch of highway.


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