The City Council of the Czech capital Prague is considering implementing an entry fee for drivers in specific sections of the city's historic district. The proposed fee is planned to enter into force starting from 2024, but the project is still under discussion and has not yet been finalised.
Nonetheless, some details have already emerged regarding this new initiative. According to Zdenek Hřib, Prague’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, the entry fee would be applicable to certain parts of Prague 1 district, particularly the neighbourhood known as Lesser Town, or Mala Strana in Czech. This medieval quarter is situated on the western bank of the Vltava River, just below Prague Castle. It is expected that the fee-based entry area will also extend to the river and to Smetanovo nábřeží square. This area is well-recognised by tourists as it is home to the Charles Bridge, one of Prague's most iconic landmarks.
The motivation behind this traffic management, or urban vehicle access regulation (UVAR), measure has been under discussion since the beginning of the summer, primarily as an initiative by Zdenek Hřib to alleviate congestion in the high-traffic tourist zones of Prague. Media reports have widely quoted a potential fee of 200 Czech crowns (approximately 8€) for drivers seeking entry to this part of the city. However, councillors have emphasised that this figure is not yet finalised and is still subject to ongoing deliberations. The fee would grant access to these areas for the entire day, although residents would be exempt from payment.
The city administration is currently in the process of preparing a legal analysis, and a formal proposal for the measure is being developed. The comprehensive proposal is expected to be ready for consideration by the city council in the course of September 2023, after further discussions.
Original article published by themayor.eu on 31 August 2023.
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