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Harmful transit traffic

Mar 09, 2020
Priority for health and the environment along the Brenner axis: this is what CIPRA Italy and other environmental associations are demanding of the Italian Minister of Transport.
Image caption:
Thick air: thousands of lorries travel over the Brenner Pass every day. (c) European Roads_flickr

Some 55 percent of transalpine freight traffic rolls over the Brenner Pass alone. In 2018, 2.42 million lorries were counted at the Brenner Pass, an increase of 7.4 percent compared with 2017. Every year, more lorries pass over the Brenner than on all Swiss and French Alpine passes together. Pollution along the route increasingly exceeds permissible limits. More traffic also means more environmental pollution. But in December last year, the Italian Minister of Transport, Paola De Micheli, spoke out against Austria's measures to reduce transit traffic on the Brenner axis. According to the truck lobby, the Austrian measures restrict the free movement of goods within the EU.

Several Italian environmental associations have written to the Transport Minister reminding her that the health of citizens living along the transit routes is just as important as the interests of transport companies. In their letter to the Minister, the associations call for concrete measures to reduce environmental pollution, ranging from the use of the remaining capacity of the current railway line to a flexible speed limit to reduce emissions depending on air quality. "This system is already being tested on the Italian section of the A22 motorway, but it now needs to be put into practice as a matter of urgency," demands Francesco Pastorelli, Executive Director of CIPRA Italy. According to Pastorelli, the shift of freight transport from road to rail can only succeed if those who are responsible for external costs due to environmental and health damage also pay for them and if an Alpine-wide transit exchange is introduced. (de), (it), (it), (it), (it)