Low emission zones, where the worst polluting vehicles are banned from city centres, were first introduced in Germany in 2008 and have since spread rapidly there and across Europe. But the Czech Republic has so far stood apart from the trend. That now looks like it is about to change with the capital city taking a lead.
Five people were injured in Liberec on Monday in a crash involving a personal automobile and a bus. The traffic accident was the fault of the driver in the car, who failed to acknowledge right-of-way. She suffered light injuries; four more people, the driver of the bus and three passengers, also suffered light injuries. Damage to the car was estimated at 150,000 crowns and 80,000 to the other vehicle.
A Prague taxi-driver who had gone missing for several days, sparking fears he might have been murdered, has contacted his family from Paris to confirm that he is alive and unharmed. His disappearance triggered a nation-wide search in connection with the still unexplained murders of three Prague taxi-drivers since the beginning of this year. One was shot in the head from behind in February after taking his client to an abandoned location outside Prague, the other two were murdered in a similar fashion in April. The case has spread panic among Prague taxi drivers and many are refusing to pick up clients on the street.
Three stretches of the D1 highway between Šternov and Psáří in the Benešov region will be completely closed to traffic in both directions shortly before midnight on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday. The closures should take place successively and each closure should last for about an hour. The measure is due to work on an overpass which could not be undertaken with the present restriction of traffic to two lanes.
Some 200 trains running on a major railway route between Prague and Kolín are facing delays on Friday over a faulty power line, a spokesman for the country’s Railway Infrastructure Administration said. The incident has affected a number of connections between the capital and major cities in eastern Czech Republic including Brno, Břeclav, Olomouc and Ostrava. Several trains have been cancelled while express trains are being diverted to an alternate route. The authorities expect the power line will be fixed by 6 PM on Friday.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has continued his tour of ministries with a visit to the Ministry of Transport and its head Antonín Prachař on Thursday. Prachař said that work on the D11 motorway from Prague to Hradec Králové and onwards to Trutnov and the Polish border should start in a few weeks. Effects of a landslide which disrupted work on the D8 motorway to Teplice should be dealt with by the end of the year, the minister added. There was no need to change the planned route of the motorway, he added. Mr. Sobotka stressed the importance of a high speed rail link between Prague and Munich, adding that there was a lot of room for rail services to neighbouring Germany to be improved.
The Czech Republic has been criticized by the European Commission along with 17 other countries for failing to take steps for reorganizing its airspace management in line with European rules aimed at establishing more efficient and cheaper routes for planes. The decade old European rules calls for countries to cooperate by organising air traffic in functional blocks instead of along more traditional national lines. Czech neighbours Poland and Slovakia are also fingered for failing to make the required changes.
Prague’s much envied public tram, metro, and bus network is marking a special day this Tuesday with the 100th anniversary of the debut of punitive fines being imposed by ticket controllers. And for the special day, the force of around 150 controllers will be showing a different face to the travelling public with the hand out of small presents rather than the customary fairly stiff fines.
Sixty-six people died on Czech roads in the course of June, the highest death toll in any single month this year, according to statistics released by the traffic police on Monday. Despite a heightened police presence on the roads ahead of the annual holiday rush the death toll is exceptionally high, up by 29 deaths as compared to last June. 277 people were reported seriously injured in car accidents over the same period.
A busy tram line that runs through the centre of Prague has been reopened after two months. Service has been renewed between Jindřišská and Lazarská after a 50-million crown project to repair lines and enable wheelchair access at the latter tram stop. The nearby section of line between the corner of Myslíková and Spálená streets and Karlovo náměstí has now been closed for renovation work that will run until August 9.
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