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From road to rail - getting it to work

Jul 29, 2011
Crossing Exchange, emissions trading or a differentiated toll system for the Alps: these transport policy instruments could ensure that in future there are fewer HGVs trucking through the Alps - providing the instruments apply to the Alpine region as a whole.
ALBATRAS study on freight traffic in the Alps
Image caption:
ALBATRAS study on freight traffic in the Alps: the infrastructure is in place, and suitable political instruments are available. © Harry Hautumm /
That is the conclusion reached by the ALBATRAS study published by the Swiss Federal Office of Transport.
It examined a total of 21 scenarios, and the more stringent the measures, the more freight was transported by rail. The most significant transfer of traffic would occur if, given an increase in freight traffic, a very restrictive Alpine Crossing Exchange were in place by 2030. The study also concluded that if emissions trading and toll systems applied merely to the territory covered by the Alpine Convention, HGVs would readily make detours instead. Building new roads would only exacerbate the ecological problems. And ensuring that new railway tunnels such as the Brenner and Gotthard tunnels are used to full capacity would clearly require some sort of channelling of the traffic by political means.
The transport ministers of the Alps are due to meet in spring 2012. Until then two further studies are under way. One focuses on the economic impact of the three transport policy instruments on the regions and the transport industry. The other looks at the compatibility with applicable law of a Crossing Exchange, emissions trading and a differentiated toll system.
Source: (de)