The Prague Transport authority has warned passengers that four tram lines cutting across Wenceslas Square in the centre of Prague will be re-routed for a period of two months for maintenance work. The planned fall-out between Lazarská and Jindřišská streets will come into effect this Saturday and last until June 28th. People covering this stretch will either have to use the metro or walk. The scheduled repair work on tram lines is also expected to complicate car traffic in the city centre.
In Business News this Friday: City pays 2.7 billion owed over Blanka Tunnel; bank customers’ hopes further dashed by Supreme Court; passenger train operator slashes price on Prague-Žilina route;; construction firms still feeling brunt of 2008 financial crisis; annoying tourist gets in the face of friendly Slovak campers.
A joint meeting of Czech and Slovak governments on Thursday in Slovakia has resulted in agreements to step up cooperation in the fight against tax evasion, transport links, and joint defence. The two countries will create a coordinator who will look at ways how the countries can better fight tax evasion. They have also set the target of filling out plans for common defence of their airspace by the end of the year. This could include the joint purchase of some equipment. As well as the meeting between Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka and his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, bilateral meetings between nearly all government ministers took place. The next meeting should take place in 2015, probably in Moravia.
Prague city councilors have kept open the possibility of a tramline one day being reintroduced at the city’s popular St. Wenceslas Square, passing changes in the metropolitan plan for future developments. Originally, there was opposition to the idea within the assembly and from Prague 1. The potential route was modified, however, only to reach the top of the square from the city’s Vinohrady district, before veering off and traveling to the city’s main railway hub. If the route were introduced it would not traverse the length of the square as some had hoped. Changes would have to be made to the city’s Magistrala throughway to allow for the tram.
Five people have died in car accidents on Czech roads since Friday, the second lowest number of casualties in 15 years. Four victims died on Friday, two of them in a single crash near Teplice. On Monday, several serious accidents occurred; five people were injured after a car crashed into a bus near Hodonín, in south Moravia. The lowest number of road casualties in the last 15 years was recorded in 2003 when three people died over the Easter weekend.
The A line of Prague metro has been closed for maintenance work for the duration of the Easter holidays. The entire line closed on Friday afternoon, and is set to reopen on Tuesday, April 22nd. Prague’s transport authority advise travellers to use the XA tram line instead, or other tram and bus lines. English-speaking staffers at metro stations are providing information about alternative routes, a spokesman for the transport firm said.
The police chief of Uherské Hradiště, Bronislav Šabršula, is being investigated on suspicion of drink-driving, Czech Television reported on Friday. The police was alerted to the incident by another driver who reported that a vehicle ahead of him was manoeuvring dangerously on the road and its driver could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police found the respective vehicle parked on the roadside with the police chief fast asleep behind the steering wheel. He refused a Breathalyzer and blood test and insisted that he had not driven the car but had merely moved to the driver’s seat after having had a row with the driver who had left him in the lurch. The car’s side mirror had been smashed.
Traffic police are expected to be out in force for the Easter weekend when thousands of people leave the big cities for the long Easter break. According to a spokesman for the traffic police officers plan to focus particularly on speeding, drink-driving and soft drugs. Drivers should expect heavy traffic especially on the D1 highway from Prague to Brno which is undergoing reconstruction with traffic along certain stretches restricted to one lane.
Fourteen people were injured in a bus crash on Thursday in the area of Uherské hradiště. Luckily the injuries were only minor, largely from broken glass from windows. In the crash, which took place on a main route to neighboring Slovakia, the bus was hit by a truck after it swerved from a blown front tire. The driver of the truck suffered several broken bones. The I/50, where the accident took place, had to be closed off for several hours.
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