Warnings on traffic congestion as Bulgaria heads into Easter holidays

Hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians were expected to hit the road for the four-day Easter weekend from April 10 to 13, with an increase in outbound traffic from Sofia reported on April 9.

Clouds still dominated the skies on April 9, but the festive weekend was expected to be sunny throughout, with temperatures rising from 11C-16C on April 10 up to 20C on April 12-13. Forecasters said that Easter Sunday would be mainly sunny, but some cloud cover and scattered showers were expected in western Bulgaria on April 13.

At Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, which saw a “code yellow” weather warning for wind on April 9, the weather would improve as the wind dies out, Bulgaria’s meteorology institute said. In the mountains, the weather would be mainly sunny, with temperatures remaining below freezing point at high altitude.

Road authorities have announced a ban on the movement of heavy goods lorries, of more than 12 tons, on all motorways and several other road stretches expected to see heavy use on the afternoon of April 9 – including between Rousse and Veliko Turnovo, between Plovdiv and Harmanli, Plovdiv and Smolyan, Varna and Bourgas, and Bourgas and Tsarevo.

The same restrictions would be in place at the end of the Easter weekend, between 2pm and 8pm on April 13. These restrictions do not apply to vehicles carrying perishable foodstuffs, cargoes subject to temperature controls, live animals and dangerous goods.

Traffic police said that they would step up checks for drink-driving and reckless driving, especially near restaurants and other places of entertainment, as well as on third-class and municipal roads. Police also would be checking on whether seat belts were being used and whether vehicles had mandatory insurance.

Traffic police also traditionally step up enforcement of speed limits during holiday periods with intensive traffic. Speed limits in Bulgaria are 50 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h outside cities and towns, 120 km/h on expressways and 140km/h on motorways.

Bulgaria’s state railways BDZ said that it would increase the number of railway coaches on about 136 trains travelling the main rail routes in the country, adding the equivalent of about 11 000 extra seats over the long weekend. BDZ said that it expected about 170 000 passengers to use its services over the four-day weekend.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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