New motorways at the stroke of a pen
“The new classification will simplify the administration of a comprehensive motorway network. For example, through the application of the same set of standards,” explained Transport Minister Dan Ťok. His ministry also claimed the step would simplify preparations for real motorway construction.
The planned modification won’t of course change the reality of the roads that drivers face, but there is another change in the roads legislation to consider. Selected class I roads are to inherit the vehicle-depicting blue sign from the abolished dual carriageways category. The maximum permitted speed will simultaneously increase to 100 kmph from the current 90 kmph. Initially, the change will apply to 160 kilometres of class I roads, but it is to be extended over time to as much as 600 kilometres. The speed increase will apply in most instances to those road sections that have two lanes running in each direction.
Not all the top speed limits will be rising, however. A small proportion of existing dual carriageways are to drop into the class I roads category, with a simultaneous reduction of their maximum speed limit. This will apply, for example, to the R63 road connecting Teplice to the D8 motorway, and the R35 running between Liberec and Turnov.
All the roads affected by the changes will require new signage. The transport ministry estimated that the associated costs would be run to millions of crowns. While any required construction modifications could drive the costs up by an order of magnitude.