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An Alpine Crossing Exchange is legally feasible

Theoretically, in purely legal terms, nothing stands in the way of an Alpine transit exchange. © Wolfgang Dirscherl/pixelio

There are no legal obstacles to the introduction of an Alpine Crossing Exchange (ACE), provided the Alpine countries show the necessary political will. This is the conclusion reached by a study commissioned by the European Region Tyrol - South Tyrol - Trentino.
"There are no insurmountable legal obstacles to the introduction of an Alpine Crossing Exchange". This is the conclusion reached by Astrid Epiney, Director of the Institute for European Law at the University of Fribourg, in her study on the "Compatibility of introducing an Alpine Crossing Exchange with the requirements of EU legislation", commissioned by the European region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino. "If you want to effectively transfer freight traffic from road to rail and thus effectively reduce environmental pollution in the regions concerned, it's hard to see any alternatives that would be as effective as an Alpine Crossing Exchange", Epiney states in her conclusions. The introduction of this efficient instrument necessitates the political will of the Alpine countries.

Infrastructure alone is not enough to transfer traffic from road to rail
In a joint statement, the Alpine Initiative, the Austrian Green Party and CIPRA, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, all demand an instrument such as the Alpine Crossing Exchange to ensure an effective modal shift of goods onto rail.
A study by the Swiss Federal Office of Transport on the impact of the New Rail Links through the Alps (NRLA) on freight transfer, published in 2012, also showed that base tunnels alone will only get a few trucks off the road. The transit problem will not be resolved at the scale of the Alps by infrastructure alone. "The regions in and around the Alps therefore have to become aware of their potential and limited capacity as regards transport. They need to develop visions and to define concrete quality criteria and reduction targets", says Claire Simon, Director of CIPRA.

International Alliance for the Alpine Crossing Exchange
The Alpine Crossing Exchange is supported not only by the Alpine Initiative and CIPRA, but also by political and regional bodies. The European region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino has been demanding the introduction of an ACE for several years. In 2011, in a joint session of their state parliaments, the three provinces that make up the region addressed a motion on this subject to the Italian government. In May 2012, other transit regions in the Alps also jointly requested as part of the European iMonitraf project the introduction of an incentive instrument. "It now is up to the governments of the Alpine countries to fulfil the demands of the Alpine regions and respect the political will of the population", adds Georg Willi, Transport Spokesperson for the Green Party in the Austrian Parliament.
Sources and further information:
www.cipra.org/en/press/press-releases