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Old May 6th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #4361
Eulanthe
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An update and some questions

Hi all, I returned from my lovely holiday in Croatia. Some questions/observations -

1. What's going on with the tolls on the A2? Why is it that if you go from Macelj to Zagreb, you pay 48kn - but if you exit at Durmanec and immediately re-enter, you only pay 33kn in total? I spotted this when entering the motorway, tried it and saved myself 15kn for what took about 90 seconds in total to do. Are they seriously punishing drivers who go the full distance?

2. That new Schengen border at Zaton Doli/Klek - does this mean that Croatia will never ratify the Ploce agreement? I notice that the old "transit" signs have gone from the border - so does this mean that it will be treated as a proper external EU border crossing?

3. Zeljava was no problem to visit - the border guards were happy that we asked for permission. They scanned our passports and gave us a free pass to go anywhere on the site as long as we didn't enter any buildings. Curiously,

4. Bregana is another example of tolling stupidity - why is it that you get hit with a 10kn toll for crossing the border on the motorway, yet if you make the very short hop through the (old?) border crossing in Bregana - you pay nothing.

5. The provision of toilets on the A1 at this time of year is ridiculous - if I'm paying 120kn for driving from Zagreb to Zadar, I expect at least more frequent toilet facilities!

6. The A1 is a great road - I could drive the area around Maslenica all day, it's just sheer pleasure.

7. What's going on with the 80km/h limit on the expressway from Zadar 2 interchange into Zadar? It seems ridiculously slow.

8. Are there any plans to dual the expressway from the A1 towards the D1 - near Sveti Rok I think?
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Old May 6th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #4362
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1. yes, you are right. that motorway is in major Austrian ownership and they have their price politics.
2. the major problem there is not passenger, but goods traffic, which is an obstacle to EU, who is now forcing construction of the bridge again. it will be, as you say, proper external EU border.
4. Bregana toll station is open toll station for those 15 km between border crossing and Zagreb. that's true that placing the booths would be more suitable between exits Sveta Nedelja and Bregana, but...
5. khm, here are the distances between rest areas with complete service (at least shop, bar and gas station) at Zagreb - Zadar section.
1 km - 19 km - 11 km - 25 km - 25 km - 40 km - 41 km - 41 km - 39 km - 32 km
between them there are rest areas only with parking, toilet and somewhere bar, app. each 15 km. i don't find it too bad.
6. my favourite section, too
7. some stupid legislative things.
8. no. (you probably mean on connector from Gornja Ploča exit on A1 to Udbina on D1)
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Old May 6th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #4363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
5. The provision of toilets on the A1 at this time of year is ridiculous - if I'm paying 120kn for driving from Zagreb to Zadar, I expect at least more frequent toilet facilities!
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Originally Posted by x-type View Post
5. khm, here are the distances between rest areas with complete service (at least shop, bar and gas station) at Zagreb - Zadar section.
1 km - 19 km - 11 km - 25 km - 25 km - 40 km - 41 km - 41 km - 39 km - 32 km
between them there are rest areas only with parking, toilet and somewhere bar, app. each 15 km. i don't find it too bad.
Eulanthe is right about the rest areas on A1 during the winter. On A1 there are lots of rest areas (with gas stations, caffe-bar or just parking facility), but during the winter all of those parking-only (without gas station) are closed! Is it because in that case they don't need to clean the snow or they think that there's no such high demand for stopping I find it strange, too.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #4364
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I have to make a statement now! I´m impressed. The croatian motorway network is VERY impressive in a so called "heavy terrain". It is a beautiful country, although I ´ve never been there. I have seen a lot of images, videoclips of the country! It is "only" 200 and something Kms from my parents´s hometown of Szfvár. I think I take a trip to "Horvátország" Croatia to summer.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #4365
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I have to make a statement now! I´m impressed. The croatian motorway network is VERY impressive in a so called "heavy terrain". It is a beautiful country, although I ´ve never been there. I have seen a lot of images, videoclips of the country! It is "only" 200 and something Kms from my parents´s hometown of Szfvár. I think I take a trip to "Horvátország" Croatia to summer.


I'm sure you'll enjoy it! If you like motorways in "heavy terrain" I suggest you to try A6+A7 (from Zagreb to Rijeka through Gorski Kotar county) or A1 to Dalmatia. Also, coming from Hungary, you will surely go on A4, which is also very interesting (and curvy on some sections)...
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #4366
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Eulanthe:
"2. That new Schengen border at Zaton Doli/Klek - does this mean that Croatia will never ratify the Ploce agreement? I notice that the old "transit" signs have gone from the border - so does this mean that it will be treated as a proper external EU border crossing?"

x-type:
"2. the major problem there is not passenger, but goods traffic, which is an obstacle to EU, who is now forcing construction of the bridge again. it will be, as you say, proper external EU border."

Fortunately, the border between Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina will eventually go to the arbitration court, as went border disputes between Croatia and Slovenia, and recently Croatia and Montenegro. This is the only proper way to settle these disputes between neighbour countries, of them which one is EU member (Slovenia), one is acceding (Croatia) and finally one is negotiating (Montenegro).

About the bridge: EU preliminary stated week ago that the Pelješac Bridge is the only proper way to connect separate parts of future EU territory inside Croatia, with perspectives to connect Montenegro too (after Montenegro's accession to the EU, probably in year 2019).

x-type is wrong in saying that passengers are not the problem, because Dubrovnik citizens feel badly separated from the Croatian mainland. The city council subsidizes every two-way flight ticket from Dubrovnik to Zagreb with 250 kuna per ticket, but only to people who reside in Dubrovnik.

Last edited by darko06; May 6th, 2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #4367
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Fortunately, the border between Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina will eventually go to the arbitration court, as went border disputes between Croatia and Slovenia, and recently Croatia and Montenegro.
huh? am I missing something about border disputies with Bosnia and Herzegovina? never heard of it frankly. what does international arbitration court have with Neum thing exactly?
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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:51 PM   #4368
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Exactly this: all Venetian, Ottoman, Austrian, Royal Yugoslav and also Yugoslav People's Army maps show the exact border at Neum. Than, in the 1970s, when the cadastral maps were overhauled, Bosnian land surveyers counterfeited some plots. Late president Tudjman, who wanted to settle this thing with late president Izetbegović in 1997, practically gifted these plots to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even current Foreign and European Minister dr Pusić, once a strong Bosnian supporter when in the opposition, changed hers argumentation and recently denied her support to Bosnia & Herzegovina claims. Thank God, the Ploče agreement is practically dead and will never be live again.

Frankly, I am surprised that someone from Croatia (Bjelovar) is not accustomised with current developement about the Pelješac Bridge.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:57 PM   #4369
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And to Eulanthe: "transit" signs are gone forever for good. There will be less smuggling, especially counterfeiting tobacco products.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 01:52 AM   #4370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darko06 View Post
Exactly this: all Venetian, Ottoman, Austrian, Royal Yugoslav and also Yugoslav People's Army maps show the exact border at Neum.
Neum was always an entity which divided Croatian territories north and south, I believe this is clear. Where are the current borders, some meters here or there, that doesn't solve the problem of transit to Dubrovnik region.

I still believe that a fenced motorway corridor through BiH territory should be build (like Osim road near Nova Gorica was build through Italian territory), the cheapest and most effective solution. However there is too much nationalistic nonsense on both sides so this probably won't happen for some time.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #4371
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Many people still believe that the arbitration court option is fair solution to both countries (Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina).
However, according to the experience with Slovenia and Croatia (almost 20 years from recognizing the problem to bringing it to the arbitration court) it can be assumed that the Neum dispute will wait 10 to 20 years to be resolved at court.
Can Croatia and European Union (connecting Montenegro with the EU) wait so long? No, they can't!
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Old May 7th, 2013, 10:47 AM   #4372
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That is true therefore BiH and Croatia should find best solution for traffic corridor regardless of any court decisions.
About 6 km long motorway corridor behind Neum would cost 50-100 million € at most and would be passable in any weather. Bridge would cost about 300-500 million at minimum, would be closed in high winds and additional motorway through mountainous terrain of Pelješac peninsula wouldn't be cheap too.
Motorway corridor behind Neum is only sensible solution if you look above nationalistic nonsense.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #4373
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That is true therefore BiH and Croatia should find best solution for traffic corridor regardless of any court decisions.
About 6 km long motorway corridor behind Neum would cost 50-100 million € at most and would be passable in any weather. Bridge would cost about 300-500 million at minimum, would be closed in high winds and additional motorway through mountainous terrain of Pelješac peninsula wouldn't be cheap too.
Motorway corridor behind Neum is only sensible solution if you look above nationalistic nonsense.
BIH refuzed closed corridor with no entrance / exit and with no contol over it.
Because of Schengen than corridor can not be open type as requested by BIH.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #4374
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Quote:
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BIH refuzed closed corridor with no entrance / exit and with no contol over it.
There could be an interchange with a passport and customs control, but even if not, the motorway would still be close to Neum, if there were interchanges right after the border on each side, so it's still a stupid decision, because Neum would profit from having a motorway so close.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 03:39 PM   #4375
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BIH refuzed closed corridor with no entrance / exit and with no contol over it.
Because of Schengen than corridor can not be open type as requested by BIH.
Normal motorway exit with normal toll station and additional customs. You don't need more. Everything else is nationalistic propaganda. Technically solution is very simple, of course then polititians of all sorts lie about possibility and not possibility of this and that.

And motorway is fenced already by default.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #4376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darko06 View Post
Exactly this: all Venetian, Ottoman, Austrian, Royal Yugoslav and also Yugoslav People's Army maps show the exact border at Neum. Than, in the 1970s, when the cadastral maps were overhauled, Bosnian land surveyers counterfeited some plots. Late president Tudjman, who wanted to settle this thing with late president Izetbegović in 1997, practically gifted these plots to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even current Foreign and European Minister dr Pusić, once a strong Bosnian supporter when in the opposition, changed hers argumentation and recently denied her support to Bosnia & Herzegovina claims. Thank God, the Ploče agreement is practically dead and will never be live again.

Frankly, I am surprised that someone from Croatia (Bjelovar) is not accustomised with current developement about the Pelješac Bridge.
Geez. and what was up in the Ice Age?
you know that Neum belongs to BIH since Dubrovnik Republic wanted to defend themselves from Venetians. that's all heritage that we got from the past and we have to deal with it. borders are clearly defined there and there are no any disputies about them there.
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Normal motorway exit with normal toll station and additional customs. You don't need more. Everything else is nationalistic propaganda. Technically solution is very simple, of course then polititians of all sorts lie about possibility and not possibility of this and that.

And motorway is fenced already by default.
actually it is more than nationalistic propaganda. even the leftmost parties in HR started to support idea of the bridge. if there was enough money, it would alerady have visible contours, trust me.
i have always liked idea of the bridge since i like bridges from contruction point of view. also, there are already too many reasons pro bridge, more than contra. but the only contra reason is stroner than all pros together - finances.

free corridor through Neum isn't possible, mostly because of BIH government, who would insist on free corridor to Ploče port. technicaly, it would be too poor deal for HR if it happened.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 09:20 PM   #4377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keber View Post
Normal motorway exit with normal toll station and additional customs. You don't need more. Everything else is nationalistic propaganda. Technically solution is very simple, of course then polititians of all sorts lie about possibility and not possibility of this and that.

And motorway is fenced already by default.
There's one other issue - from my reading of all the Schengen laws, it isn't allowed to have a Schengen border control on non-Schengen territory. It's complete nonsense, but it's the way it is - and this rules out a normal motorway exit with a Schengen exit control. As I recall, this is what caused all Polish controls to move to the Polish side of the Belarusian border - and what causes new checkpoints to be built exclusively on Polish territory.

Why is giving Bosnia free access to Ploce an issue for Croatia? Maybe I'm not understanding the Ploce Agreement properly - but doesn't Bosnia already have control of some of the port there?

The whole situation should be solved by the EU using common sense. Building a big bridge just to comply with EU rulings when the EU wants Bosnia in the club is completely ridiculous - it would be much better to simply allow the solution above. The situation at Neum is going to get worse if both border crossings are going to be treated as full external EU borders with no possibility of passing through quickly as transit traffic.

In relation to those transit signs - did they actually work in practice? The only time I was there, there seemed to be no way for the Croatians to tell if someone had genuinely transited through Neum or not.

At the same time, I'm convinced that Croatia quite likes this problem at the minute - it stops Croatia from having to find the money to actually build onwards. There's nothing stopping Croatia from building a motorway from Dubrovnik to Zaton Doli at the minute regardless of the solution chosen.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #4378
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Why is giving Bosnia free access to Ploce an issue for Croatia? Maybe I'm not understanding the Ploce Agreement properly - but doesn't Bosnia already have control of some of the port there?
that's called capitalism. if Ploče is in Croatia, then if Bosnia wants to access there, it cannot be free. in capitalism nothing is free.
Croatia wants to have its international train to Munich? no problem. pay to Austrians and Germans using their tracks.
Croatia wants to keep their oil fields in Syria or Lybia? no problem, just turn your back to Americans and EU and keep the fields. adn don't ask USA or EU for mercy.

Bosnia had some kind of control on Ploče while both countries were in Yugoslavia. but both countries wanted their independence what means border between.

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In relation to those transit signs - did they actually work in practice? The only time I was there, there seemed to be no way for the Croatians to tell if someone had genuinely transited through Neum or not.
once i have passed there without stopping. i think that officers were not too happy about that.
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There's nothing stopping Croatia from building a motorway from Dubrovnik to Zaton Doli at the minute regardless of the solution chosen.
it is. lack of money
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Old May 7th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #4379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keber View Post
Normal motorway exit with normal toll station and additional customs. You don't need more. Everything else is nationalistic propaganda. Technically solution is very simple, of course then polititians of all sorts lie about possibility and not possibility of this and that.

And motorway is fenced already by default.
You mean Bosnian nationalistic propaganda. Croatia has offered exactly this solution: Normal motorway exit with normal toll station and additional customs. ... And motorway is fenced already by default. But Bosnian (Moslem) politicians want to have exact the same corridor through Croatia from Čapljina to Ploče harbour in exchange. And I am asking all of you frankly: let's say that Croatian politicians agree to such stupid solution (which will never happen). But will the European Commision agree to that, which means that a third country would have exterritorial corridor through the EU? Does Belarus have similar corridor through the EU, let's say a strip of land between Polish and Lithuanian border?
About the accession of Bosnia & Herzegovina into the EU: to be honest, they didn't resolve the so-called Sejdić-Finci legal case, what is a condition for implementation of Stabilisation Agreement. They didn't even bid the Comission for accesion into the EU. It is realistic that Bosnia & Herzegovina won't enter the EU for at least ten to fifteen years. Do Croatia and Montenegro really need to wait so long?
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Old May 7th, 2013, 10:58 PM   #4380
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There's one other issue - from my reading of all the Schengen laws, it isn't allowed to have a Schengen border control on non-Schengen territory. It's complete nonsense, but it's the way it is - and this rules out a normal motorway exit with a Schengen exit control.
Then you make an exemption rule. Like in case of Eurostar trains, where Schengen officials control passports in London.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ndon_entry.jpg

Saying it is impossible to have an exit outside Schengen area because of some general rules is again only an excuse. EU rules are actually full of exemptions.

Quote:
@x-type: if there was enough money, it would alerady have visible contours, trust me.
I know that. But with a price difference for the whole connection in the range of about 500 mil. Euro there is only one sensible solution, especially if we know that traffic won't be very high for decades to come.
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