The Polish Via Toll Box System

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Don Madge, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    Morning all,

    I received the following from Magbaz travels and I thought it would be useful to some.

    Safe travelling.

    Don

    Maribor
    Slovenia

    6 October 2013

    The Polish Via Toll Box System – A Reprise

    Following Brenda and Adrian Wilson’s horrifying experience of the new Polish system of road tolls in May this year, motorhomers Ian and Judit Shires describe what happened to them in September.
    Read Brenda and Adrian’s account on this website at:

    http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/1460/30/

    Ian and Judit Shires sent us the following account, extracted from their own website at:

    http://bessyonthemove.weebly.com/poland--germany-2013.html

    Ian and Judit write:

    “We left Camp Smok (near Krakow in southern Poland) with the intention of buying a Via Toll Box. After all the horror stories of people being trapped by the Police on what appears a normal road but without a Via Toll Box we thought it wise to invest. Any vehicle over 3.5 ton should have a Box because the detectors and the Police can catch you out. We have heard stories of people having to pay over £1,000 in fines (see the Wilsons’ account above).

    We must point out that nowhere in Poland did we see signs stating that we should have the Via Toll Box fitted, or any other information whatsoever. There is the website, but it is quite confusing, even in English.

    The idea is that you buy a Box and preload it with money. Then when you go under said gantries it deducts the toll automatically. In theory, when you get to the border you can hand the box back and get the cash back for it, plus the unused amount left in the Box. The roads are shown on a website but we have seen detectors and gantries, and the tiny "card" sign on other roads already.

    The local filling station did not sell them and said that there is just one place in Krakow but they didn’t know where. They said it should be possible to get one on the motorway. Great!
    Never mind, we went into town to visit the Palace and see if we could see any signs for Via Toll Boxes. No luck at all.

    At the first service area on the way to Auschwitz we could buy a Box at the Filling Station counter but the staff and everyone else were quite confused and unsure what to do. The process went as follows:
    1. Hand over Passport. Details entered into computer.
    2. Hand over Registration Documents. Details entered into computer.
    3. The above documents were then scanned into the computer.
    4. The assistant then printed out two sets of documents. Each six pages long.
    5. Pay for the Via Toll Box with Credit or Debit card. 120 PLN (about £24).
    6. Sign for above on two separate receipts.
    7. Pay for minimum pre-load with plastic. Again 120 PLN (another £24).
    8. Sign for above on two separate receipts.
    9. Sign for Credit Card, just once.
    10. Assistant places the Via Toll Box on another box and does things with computer.
    11. Sign one of the 6-page documents in 5 places (three times on one of the pages).
    12. Sign the other 6-page document as above. Assistant keeps one copy. You keep the other.
    13. Assistant hands you the Box to place in windscreen area of motorhome.
    14. Leave the assistant looking confused after 50 minutes of bureaucracy.
    15. We now have the Box and three receipts plus one of the 6-page documents. All in Polish.
    On our way to Auschwitz we had to pay a “normal” toll at a “normal” toll booth. Why, when we have a ViaToll Box? On our way the Box never bleeped once and we never saw a gantry, yet the road is marked as one of the Via Toll roads on the internet. Is it working? Should we try to find a centre where we can report the problem? There is a button and the figures 2,3,4,X may light up. Is this good?

    After a peaceful night at the Nazi Tunnels we headed for the German border near Dresden. Our route was very pleasant through the forests until we got to the motorway. Once again, no indication that this was a Via Toll road, even though it is indicated on the Polish website.

    Take care at the border, as there is no Polish “side”. So we went into the German “side” where there were lots of empty offices. Luckily a Ukrainian trucker spotted us carrying our box and directed us to the correct office. It is not clearly marked and the VIA part of the name is a white outline on a white wall. Once inside a bored looking lady wanted all the papers and the box. Ian had to sign two sheets of paper agreeing that we had NOT paid any tolls and we would get the money for that and the box returned to our bank accounts. We’ll let you know about that.

    So after all that faffing around and time wasting we actually spent nothing other than at toll booths. Well done ... and so they should be.”

    Editor’s note: faffing is Yorkshire for messing or another word beginning with p or f, depending on the gravity of the situation.
     
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  2. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    i know when we went because we was just under 3.5 ton we just had to buy a vignett from the border around 15quid stuck on window job done
     
  3. The wizened of OZ

    The wizened of OZ Funster

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    3500 kg

    Motorhome is under 3500kg so purchased a vignette. The only problem I had was forgetting to buy beer before crossing the border.:BigGrin:
     
  4. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    In June this year being under 3.5 T I just paid tolls as I found them without any problems -I didn't get a vignette but had no problems. clearly not much of the money is going to the many of the roads as they are dangerous and crap. Especially the ones used by buses and lorries where the 'axle ruts' have formed and the side of the road has collapsed.

    Anyone driving in rural Poland should be prepared to stop for drunks on the road (I had to) potholes and animals. Driving anywhere in Poland in a MH expect at least one brain dead and permanent tailgater if you are lucky. If you are unlucky you will have several Di%K head tailgaters battling it out behind you:Eeek:

    I got LAZERED once at a police check point just going into a town (where the police hang out) but I was doing the right speed and so should you!

    BTW Don't eat cheap Polish sausages.....ever:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  5. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    We were in Poland in September just gone, but with a car.

    Entered from Germany and didn't notice a sign (not saying there wasn't one) requesting all to buy a vignette. Drove for 5 days in central and southern Poland almost exclusively on A and B roads, but on leaving to travel to the Czech had to use a motorway.

    Took a ticket on entry to the motorway and after half a dozen junctions took our exit and pulled up at a manned toll booth. Gave nice young lady the ticket and she said 'Go' and up went the barrier. Asked how much and she a little irritated by now said just go and pointed at the exit, no payment required.

    No idea why that was and would have been happy to pay, but that appeared symptomatic of Poland in our experience. They are in transition and no one appears to have a clear overall picture of what's happening.

    Met a fair number of Polish people in different places and our big question was why are there so many very expensive houses being built? Common answer was "the people who are having houses built are working abroad", then followed by, "there is very little work in Poland in particular for young people".

    That's starting to sound familiar where ever we are nowadays.
     
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