Alpine regions also demand an Alpine Crossing Exchange
The regions in the Alpine arc want to cooperate to reduce road freight. They want to reach this goal by introducing an Alpine Crossing Exchange. The common intention of the Alpine regions, which was communicated at the international “iMonitraf” conference in Lucerne, must be followed by concrete steps in Berne and Brussels.
Brussels, Rome, Paris and Vienna might not like to hear it, but the Alpine regions affected by road freight are in agreement. We need a pan-Alpine means of control, such as the Alpine Crossing Exchange, to relieve the Rhône-Alpes, Tyrol, South Tyrol, Aosta Valley, Friuli, Piedmont, Central Switzerland and Ticino from heavy goods traffic, which has become intolerable.
Switzerland has clearly failed to meet its intermediate target, set down in law, to permit only one million trucks to cross the Swiss Alps in 2011. Just as in other regions, this has “corresponding negative consequences for the local population and the environment”, according to the members of “iMonitraf”. This means that transferring freight from road to rail has not been encouraged consistently enough. Since 1994, the Swiss government has already been bound by its constitution to make this transfer happen. There is no reason to deviate from it. This is also clearly shown by the common demand for an Alpine Crossing Exchange and a reduction in road freight by the Alpine regions. For the first time (!), cantonal and provincial governments have also supplied figures for the routes in question. For Switzerland the figure is 650,000 transalpine trucks per year, as laid down in the Swiss Traffic Transfer Act. For the Brenner the figure is 1 million, etc.
A second road tunnel at the Gotthard, however, is incompatible with the transfer policy. It is more like an open invitation to the haulage industry. The renovation of the Gotthard road tunnel can instead be used as an opportunity to enshrine the transfer policy and the Alpine Crossing Exchange at a European level – as demanded by the Alpine regions of France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Alf Arnold, Director, Alpine Initiative, Altdorf, 0041 79 711 57 13
Fabio Pedrina, President, Alpine Initiative, Airolo, 0041 79 249 29 42