Bulgaria’s National Association of Road Carriers says it will blockade road exits from Sofia on the afternoon of August 1, peak time for traffic quitting the capital city for summer seaside destinations, unless new restrictions on lorry traffic are lifted.
New restrictions on lorries of more than 12 tons, expanding the list of roads they are banned from using on Fridays from 6pm to 9pm and on Sundays from 2pm to 8pm, were the reason for the protest, association president Krassimir Lalov said.
The list adds to restrictions announced in March by the Road Infrastructure Agency, to include secondary roads such as Plovdiv-Smolyan, Simitli-Gotse Delchev, Debelets-Gurkovo, Dobrich to the border with Romania and the Sofia Ring Road, as well as a number of first-class roads.
Lalov said that the March list had been agreed with his association, the Association of Bulgarian Enterprises for International Transport and Roads, the traffic police and the Bulgarian Association of Accident Victims.
The March order did not include highways on the grounds that they were built not only for cars but to serve business, Lalov said. He said that it was inexplicable that limitations were put on the road to Smolyan, where there was no rail line and all supplies to the Rhodopes were conveyed by lorry.
In a letter to the head of the Road Infrastructure Agency, Stefan Chaikov, Lalov called for the new restrictions to be scrapped by July 31, or the blockade of Sofia’s road exits would go ahead, he said.