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Transport Ministry makes concessions to truckers

TRUCK drivers transporting commercial goods will not have to pay toll on roads in urban areas, except for the 20-kilometre bypass in Bratislava. These roads will be however monitored to find out more about the intensity of the haulage, according to the agreement between the Transport Ministry and two associations representing the truckers.

TRUCK drivers transporting commercial goods will not have to pay toll on roads in urban areas, except for the 20-kilometre bypass in Bratislava. These roads will be however monitored to find out more about the intensity of the haulage, according to the agreement between the Transport Ministry and two associations representing the truckers.

The opposition however considers the agreement non-systemic and says that it will solve problems for neither the haulers nor people living in the urban areas.

Hauliers have been criticising the changes to the toll system which became effective in the beginning of this year. Part of them was imposing the toll on 980 kilometres of highways and roads in urban areas. According to Association of Road Transport Operators of the Slovak Republic (ČESMAD), the number of tolled roads increased by 40 percent, affecting mostly the regional hauliers whose costs increased by 60-80 percent, as reported by the SITA newswire.

The haulers and ministry, together with representatives of Slovakia’s self-governing regions, will also sign a memorandum over not imposing the toll on second and third class roads administered by the regions in April. At the moment there is a zero toll rate on the roads and the ministry monitors them to learn which sections are used by the trucks the most.

According to Marcel Klimek, deputy chair of the New Majority (NOVA) movement, the agreement “does not motivate haulers to return to highways, express double-carriageways and the first-class roads from which they were driven out by the over-expensive toll”, as cited by SITA.

After the presidential elections, scheduled for March 15, it is possible the ministry will return to its original plans, he added.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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