Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bulgaria Bans Freight Trucks In Heatwave

Record Temperatures Cause Chaos
Shipping News Feature

BULGARIA – Record temperatures were recorded today across the country meaning that trucks over 20 tonnes are banned from travelling on the country’s under funded road network. A blanket ban was already in force from 1500 to 2000 hours on Fridays and Sundays from the 6th to the 30th August.

The ban applies on all highways and category A roads and was brought in as temperatures passed 35 degrees Celcius causing trucks to sink in the asphalt. The ban also applies to construction and agricultural vehicles said the Road Infrastructure Agency and includes the Blagoevgrad region, Veliko Tarnovo, Ruse, Pleven, Montana, Lovech, Dobrich, Razgrad, Kyustendil, Yambol and Stara Zagora. Drivers should ensure they are allowed to travel before proceeding according to local reports.

The Government has been criticised for the slow utilisation of EU funds, much of the money destined to improve transport infrastructure, a charge acknowledged by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov who says a World Bank are en route to assist in this following allegations of corruption and financial irregularity.

According to local reports Borisov was cutting about the Governments decision to spend on defence instead of essential road improvements. Speaking about the lorry travel ban he is quoted as saying:

"In other European countries they have highways, and we haven’t even one completed highway, that is why we impose these restrictions to enable people to travel safely to the sea”.

Photo: Not everybody was disappointed by the sweltering heat in Sofia today.