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Relieving the burden on transit-plagued Alpine regions

Representatives of the national transport ministries are currently discussing the strengthening of the infrastructure costs directive (Eurovignette Directive). Together with environmental organisations, CIPRA is calling for a substantial improvement in legislation to relieve the burden on the population in transit-stricken Alpine regions.

On behalf of the population of the many Alpine regions plagued by noise and exhaust fumes, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) and its 100 or so member organisations are now appealing to the ministers of transport, health and the environment in the Alpine states. These are currently discussing at EU level the strengthening of the infrastructure costs directive (Eurovignette Directive). CIPRA supports the revision of the Eurovignette Directive in principle and calls for it to be approved by the national transport ministers following the Commission (2017) and the European Parliament (2018). This would be a major step towards climate neutrality in road traffic and would reduce truck traffic through the Alps.

The coronavirus pandemic and its consequences clearly show how sensible it is to transport goods by rail. It also demonstrates the urgency of reducing human impact on the environment and increasing the resilience of ecosystems. The strengthening of the Eurovignette Directive will make an effective contribution to a more sustainable future in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the Green Deal. 

Three requirements for the protection of the Alpine valleys

In order to provide relief for the populations of narrow Alpine valleys who are particularly affected by noise and exhaust fumes, CIPRA is focusing on three improvements:

  1. The directive must include all external costs as a basis for calculation in order to protect the irreplaceable assets of climate, nature and human health.
  2. The planned permissibility of add-on tolls to promote a modal shift in sensitive areas such as the Alps or densely populated regions must be  maintained. Such surcharges should be at least 25% and be open-ended. The downgrading of the so-called mountain factor from 4 to 2, which was only introduced at the end of February, is to be reversed.
  3. Tolls must be levied as a function of the number of kilometres travelled so that the worst polluters bear the heaviest burden.

CIPRA emphasises that the Alpine Convention, signed by all the Alpine states back in 1991, and its Transport Protocol (adopted in 2000) alone prescribe the comprehensive integration of all external costs as well as the application of the polluter-pays principle.

 

For further information and questions please contact:

Kaspar Schuler, Co-Director CIPRA International, kaspar.schuler@cipra.org, +423 79 300 55
Michael Gams, Communication, CIPRA International, michael.gams@cipra.org


Statements by individual CIPRA representatives and other members of the population along the transit axes can be found here:

Press photo

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