BEIRUT: Striking truck drivers Monday blocked major roads in Beirut, Mount Lebanon and south of the country, causing brief traffic chaos before agreeing to give talks a chance.
Traffic jams were reported between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. on the highway linking Jounieh to Beirut, the Ouzai road at the southern entrance to Beirut, the mountainous road of Sofar that links Beirut with the Bekaa Valley, and the Awali Bridge that links Beirut with the southern city of Sidon.
Traffic started to move after truckers suspended their strike out of respect for Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who promised to meet representatives from the Association of Truck Drivers at 2 p.m.
In September 2013, an agreement gave drivers only two sets of driving hours in any 24-hour period, one between 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m., the other between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The schedule aims at cutting down on traffic in and around Beirut.
Truckers said they were dissatisfied at the driving schedule and that it was not convenient for them.
However, Charbel said he was surprised by the protest because he said representatives from the Association the ATD had approved the driving schedule.