Czech media outlets are awash with news that the Prague City Council intends to impose an entry fee for drivers in certain parts of the city’s historic district. The proposed charge will start being applied from the start of 2024; however, the plan has not yet been solidly defined and is currently in the process of discussion.
Nevertheless, details have already emerged regarding the new measure. According to Zdenek Hřib, Deputy Mayor for Transport, the entry fee would apply to parts of Prague 1 district, more specifically the neighbourhood known as Lesser Town, or Mala Strana in Czech.
This medieval quarter is located on the left (west) bank of the Vltava River, just below Prague Castle. The pay-to-enter area will also likely extend across the river into the Smetanovo nábřeží square. Tourists are well aware of this part of Prague because this is where one of its most famous landmarks – the Charles Bridge – is also located.
Diluting traffic congestion
The traffic choking measure has been discussed since the start of the summer, apparently an idea by Zdenek Hřib to prevent congestion in the prime tourist areas of the Czech capital.
The media reports have widely circulated the amount of 200 Czech crowns (about 8 euros) as the possible fee drivers who want entry to that part of town will have to pay. However, councillors have stated that this has not yet been finalized due to pending discussions. The fee would grant access for the entire day to the areas, and residents would be naturally excluded from paying it.
The city administration must prepare a legal analysis, and a proposal for the measure is now in development. The comprehensive proposal will be ready in two weeks following discussion at the city council.
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