Slovak truckers blocked three border crossings with the Czech Republic on
Sunday night within wider protests around the country in support of road
The crossings Brodské-Břeclav, Holíč-Hodonín a Skalica-Sudomeřice are closed to trucks although passenger cars are being allowed through.
The blockade is expected to extend to a number of other crossings with the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary in the course of the day.
The Union of Slovak Truckers wants the government to lower the road tax truckers have to pay to do business by 50% and to suspend the highway toll system until the dispute is resolved.
The government has said it is willing to cut the road toll by 12.5%.
Czech traffic police have advised drivers to avoid the blocked crossings if at all possible.
The new tolling system which came in force in the Czech Republic as of
midnight, December 1st, has not created any significant traffic
complications, the ctk news agency reports.
Although long lines were expected to form at the country’s borders due to the around 145,000 as yet unregistered vehicles, the transition has been smooth and hauliers are registering gradually at mobile registration points on the country’s borders.
Only the Czech-Slovak border crossing Lanžhot reported a two-kilometre-long line of trucks on Monday morning. The new tolling system, operated by the consortium CzechToll/SkyToll, requires hauliers to register and have their vehicles fitted with a new on-board unit.
A new tolling system has come in force in the Czech Republic as of
midnight, December 1st. The system, operated by the consortium
CzechToll/SkyToll, requires hauliers to register and have their vehicles
fitted with a new on-board unit by that date. Around 313,000 vehicles have
registered so far, another 145,000 are still expected to do so.
CzechToll/SkyToll has increase the number of registration places in the coming days and is offering mobile registration units at border crossings in order to avoid traffic problems due to unregistered vehicles.
No problems have been reported so far, but the operator has warned Monday could see long lines of unregistered vehicles at border crossings.
The Czech state has taken over the new toll system for trucks covering some
2,300 kilometres from subcontractor CzechToll, the Ministry of Transport
confirmed on Monday.
The construction of the satellite-controlled toll system, due to go into operation on December 1, has thus far cost CZK 2.3 billion.
The government is concerned about possible chronic traffic bottlenecks, as not all freight forwarders have registered their vehicles.
The launch of the new electronic toll system on Czech highways at the beginning of December can cause major traffic disruptions, the toll operator Czech Toll/Sky Toll has warned. Traffic jams of up to 40 kilometres are expected in some parts of the country, especially at border crossings, when the new toll system goes into operation.
Starting this Sunday, carriers in the Czech Republic can start registering
in the new electronic toll system. The new satellite system, operated by
the consortium CzechToll/SkyToll, will be officially launched on December
Hauliers using toll roads will be obliged to have their vehicles fitted with a new on-board unit by that date.
The launch of the new toll system was preceded by months of legal battles with the company Kapsch over the result of a tender for the new toll system operator. The Austrian company has run the Czech highway toll system since 2007.
The Prague authorities are considering a toll on cars using some roads in
the city. The capital’s leaders want to discuss the matter with Ministry
of Transport officials within the coming weeks as the move would require a
change in the law, Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček and Tomáš Voříšek from
the council’s sustainable energy and emissions committee said on Tuesday.
The new toll would likely cost motorists tens of Czech crowns a day. An earlier idea of creating an emissions-free zone in the centre of Prague was dropped.
Around 5,500 cameras would be used, alongside monitoring vehicles currently used to oversee parking zones, would be employed in the enforcement of the new system.
The Austrian company Kapsch has filed another lawsuit against the Office for the Protection of Competition. It accuses the agency of inaction in ignoring a court ruling under which it was ordered to re-examine Kapsch’s objections to the terms of a tender to operate the tolling system on Czech motorways.