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Socialists To Organise Protests Against County-based Road Toll System

Tamás Székely 2015.01.30.

The opposition Socialists (MSZP) will organise demonstrations in protest against the introduction of new tolls this year, deputy leader Zoltán Gőgös said in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary. Gőgös told a press conference that the party is not against new county e-stickers but demands the withdrawal of tolls on by-pass roads near cities that were free to use until December 31, 2014. Board member Károly Beke said the demonstration will involve blocking one lane of the road at the junction of the M3 and the M0 motorways in Pest County, and also one lane of the road at the cities of Győr, Székesfehérvár, Tatabánya, Debrecen and Nyíregyháza.

At their Wednesday’s session last week, the Hungarian government decided for several amendments in relation to the county-based road toll system introduced from 1st of January 2015. According to the announcement made by state secretary János Fónagy, county vignettes will be valid up to the first exit ramp after a county border instead of the last one before the border as of 1 February, 2015, and there will be several new toll-free sections as well. Despite the changes opposition parties, including Socialists, still criticize the government over the new motorway toll system, saying the scheme should be scrapped altogether.

However,  the controversial county motorway stickers introduced at the start of this year have quickly become the most popular vignette among motorists, daily Magyar Hírlap said. The county vignettes, which are far cheaper than the annual vignette covering for the whole country, have accounted for 563,000 of the 1,267,000 motorway vignettes sold so far this year. About 437,000 country vignettes valid for ten days have been sold during the period. Sales of country vignettes valid for one month has come to 82,000 and sales of country vignettes valid for a year has reached 185,000. The county vignettes cost 5,000 forints (EUR 16) apiece. Country vignettes cost 42,980 forints. The government expects the changes to the vignette system to generate about 20 billion forints (EUR 64.1m) in additional budget revenue, the newspaper said.

via and photo: Attila Kovács – MTI