Monday, 21 April 2014

Minister proposes that toll be paid by lorries on 1st-class roads

21 January 2013

Prague, Jan 20 (CTK) - Transport Minister Zbynek Stanjura will recommend to the government that toll be paid by lorries for the use of all first-class roads and he sees the measure as realistic as of 2017, Stanjura said in discussion programme Questions of Vaclav Moravec on Czech TV Sunday.

The validity of the current contract on the operation of the toll system in the Czech Republic will expire at the end of 2016.

Plzen Mayor and shadow transport minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrat, CSSD) agrees with the proposal. He would like to introduce toll also on some second-class roads to prevent lorries from using these roads to avoid toll payment.

"I lean towards toll payment by lorries on all first-class roads. As for passenger transport, we will debate about it, the opinion here is not definitive. I would be glad if the government decided on it in the first half of this year," Stanjura said.

He did not rule out that the toll rate on first-class roads will be different from that on motorways.

"The question is how the state will want to direct the traffic of heavy transport. When we think it over, we are able to prevent heavy transport from avoiding the sections where toll is paid," he added.

Electronic toll for heavy transport was introduced on Czech motorways in 2007.

Stanjura also said he was not in favour of the introduction of electronic chips for passenger cars. "Toll stickers work and it would not be reasonable to invest into another project where return is not so high," he explained.

Talking about railway transport, Stanjura said that the separation of rail track management company SZDC from national rail operator Ceske drahy (CD) years ago had not been done well.

"We have to deal, for example, with the problem that railway tracks are owned by the SZDC and the land under them by Ceske drahy," he said.

An amendment to the relevant law when the land under the tracks would be transferred under the management of the SZDC for free is one possibility. He proposes the same for railway stations owned by CD. One of the targets is to prepare the railways for the entry of further potential rivals.

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