The Ministry of Infrastructures plans to put an end to heavy trucks and lorries on country roads. This means that vehicles of over 3.5 tons need a special license to travel on the road network that are offered only in exceptional circumstances or else the drivers and owners would be fined 1,000 euros and have their license plates taken. Truck transport representatives are opposed to the measure.
The decision by Infrastructures Minister Christos Spirtzis comes to add specifications to a recent regulation calling for restrictions to lorry access to roads off the national road network. The new regulation comes in response to an increase in trucks and lorries on the old national highway and other roads in recent years so that they can avoid toll gates at national highways. This practice however, has caused traffic congestion and increased the risk of accidents at villages around the country. Furthermore, the weight of the vehicles has destroyed many of these roads.
Now, lorries of more than 3.5 tons will need special 4-year licenses to travel on other roads beyond the national highway. The licenses will be based on the address of the truck company. Public country buses (KTEL), tourist buses and student buses will be excluded from the new restrictions that go into effect immediately.
Transport companies are opposed to the regulation. They accuse the ministry of taking the decision to assist private companies involved in toll collection. The transport carriers state that the measures will burden 27,000 public carriers with costs they are unable to support.