Prague May Keep Horse-Drawn Carriages in the City Center

The Prague City Hall will have to deal with the ban of horse-drawn carriages in the city center and are setting up an expert group to assess whether these will be banned permanently in the future. 

This has been ongoing in the town council since last December- and there are regulations which will be introduced at the beginning of 2023 which abolish all horse-drawn carriages in the Old Town Square. 

This decision was criticised by opposition representatives. They criticised the way in which the councilors approved of the change- they did this by changing the market rules which bypassed the termination of the agreement to the fiakrists.

Ondřej Prokop, on the opposition, said “a two-year notice period should apply first before a ban is implemented.”

The opposition also said that the document which was in favour of the ban was originally submitted directly to the council without prior discussion or deliberation- meaning that it was not done fairly.

Jiří Pospíšil, an MEP, coalition representative and chairman of Prague’s TOP 09 is in favour of the ban. He explains that the ban could be for good as it is an ethical issue the city is facing “I am convinced that this is primarily an ethical issue.”

He then said that major cities such as Paris and Rome which used to be popular with horse-drawn carriages have banned their use in recent years. 

Also councilor Adam Zábranský of the Pirate Party said that horse-drawn carriages are problematic, with experts saying that the animals used to suffer.

Mr. Zábranský said the move was not directly banning carriages but rather ending support in the form of city parking spots for them on Old Town Square and in Stromovka park.

Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr is not in favour of the fiakers being banned. “They are known in the city, and the way the horses are treated are fair and adequate- there should be no reason why these should be banned,” he said.


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