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Old June 28th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #1841
ChrisZwolle
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That's not the point. An 18-year old referendum forbids new capacity on transalpine corridors, even if the EU was to fund it entirely. Besides, truckers in Switzerland pay enough tolls to build such a tunnel every few years.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #1842
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It would be nice if the EU financed the second track of one of the two Italian branches of the Gotthard railway, in alternative or in addition to the second road tunnel...
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Old June 28th, 2012, 01:25 PM   #1843
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Switzerland is a landlocked country. It surely has been benefited the Italians (or the small quasi-states that preceded them), the French and the Austrians have allowed relatively free movement of their stuff.

And of course Italy, Germany also benefit from cross-Switzerland traffic.

So it is rather pointless to think CH is a tropical remote island being invaded by hordes of polluting Europeanites.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #1844
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The case is not that black and white. The jam-free twin tunnel may remove the issue of the local pollution due to congestion. But it still increases the traffic bandwidth, and attracts more traffic to the Swiss transit routes. Thus, the total amount on emissions increases while the local peaks may be relieved.
It only increases capacity when it's too low, i.e. when there're traffic jams (causing a lot of polution, by the way). When traffic is already free-flowing in the existing single tube, there would be no greater capacity, if you opened another tube. People won't flock into the Gotthard tunnel just because they can cross it 3 minutes faster.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #1845
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It only increases capacity when it's too low, i.e. when there're traffic jams (causing a lot of polution, by the way). When traffic is already free-flowing in the existing single tube, there would be no greater capacity, if you opened another tube. People won't flock into the Gotthard tunnel just because they can cross it 3 minutes faster.
Right, with the same argument we should have kept the modern vehicle park circulating on the 1950 road system. So there would be huge jams and people driving less and polluting less. Or downgrading random busy motorway sections to 1+1.
People will drive on the new Gothard tunnel only if they'll need to be on the other side like today.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #1846
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It only increases capacity when it's too low, i.e. when there're traffic jams (causing a lot of polution, by the way). When traffic is already free-flowing in the existing single tube, there would be no greater capacity, if you opened another tube. People won't flock into the Gotthard tunnel just because they can cross it 3 minutes faster.
Interesting logic.

The question was about being ecofriendly or not. The non-ecofriendliness results from congestion at the tunnel entrance. Thus, the question about what happens at the times there are no congestion has no relevance within this context.

The basic traffic flow management rule is that the total capacity of a corridor equals to the capacity of the narrowest bottleneck.

If the second tunnel were built, the capacity of the A2 corridor would double. That potentially would attract more traffic to that route, most probably from Mt Blanc and Brenner.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #1847
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Interesting logic.

The question was about being ecofriendly or not. The non-ecofriendliness results from congestion at the tunnel entrance. Thus, the question about what happens at the times there are no congestion has no relevance within this context.

The basic traffic flow management rule is that the total capacity of a corridor equals to the capacity of the narrowest bottleneck.

If the second tunnel were built, the capacity of the A2 corridor would double. That potentially would attract more traffic to that route, most probably from Mt Blanc and Brenner.
You're right, I actually meant traffic, not capacity. If there was so much traffic on the A2, there should be constant traffic jams before the Gotthard tunnel, but AFAIK, they're regular only in summer. As long as there's no traffic jam before the tunnel, that means that traffic wouldn't increase much, if you opened another tube. Unless you think it would significantly increase in the future, but the A2 runs through a sparsely-populated area there. And most importantly, it's locals (the Swiss) who wouldn't decide to drive through the tunnel due to traffic jams, not foreigners. Germans won't cancel their vacations just because of some traffic jam. So it's ecological Swiss who want to prevent driving to those Swiss who'd like to drive through the tunnel (locals mostly).

Last edited by Verso; June 28th, 2012 at 09:02 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #1848
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If the second tunnel were built, the capacity of the A2 corridor would double. That potentially would attract more traffic to that route, most probably from Mt Blanc and Brenner.
It depends. Truck tolls in Switzerland are so high that for most of Italy (even the Milano area), detouring via the Brenner Autobahn is cheaper. Plus the bureaucratic hassle to get through Switzerland, both at the borders and the truck controls before the Gotthard Tunnel.

For most tourist traffic, the Brenner is already a better option because except for the Lago di Como area, most tourist areas in Italy are better served by the Brenner Autobahn.

Truck traffic across the Brenner Autobahn did increase after Switzerland introduced the LSVA (Truck Tolls). However, it is unlikely to switch back to the Gotthard Tunnel if capacity increases, mainly because traffic congestion at the Gotthard Tunnel is not an issue to truck drivers as they are banned on the busiest days. The whole problem with the Gotthard is not truck traffic (there isn't much) but holiday traffic. This is a year-round problem, not just a few summer weekends, but many weekends, also in the winter and spring and around public holidays.

While the number of vehicles stuck in traffic congestion at the Gotthard is generally less than say around Zürich or Basel, the delays are much more significant.

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; June 28th, 2012 at 09:26 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #1849
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
It depends. Truck tolls in Switzerland are so high that for most of Italy (even the Milano area), detouring via the Brenner Autobahn is cheaper. Plus the bureaucratic hassle to get through Switzerland, both at the borders and the truck controls before the Gotthard Tunnel.

True. When we are not loading/unloading in Switzerland, we avoid it like the plague, because even for vans it's simply too much hassle dealing with the transit paperwork on both the French and Italian borders with Switzerland. So we go either Brenner, Mont Blanc or Frejus way. Empty we nearly always go through Swiss, except when we got business in Bozen, or when I go home to Mayrhofen.

For most tourist traffic, the Brenner is already a better option because except for the Lago di Como area, most tourist areas in Italy are better served by the Brenner Autobahn.

Not true. All traffic coming from North and Eastern France, Benelux, the UK and western Germany are better off through Swiss. It saves 100 to 160 km going to most of Italy, including towards Rome, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. (A1, A14). Brenner would only serve Garda Lake. There are hardly any Dutch, French and English crossing the Brenner, but they are all there queuing at the Gotthard. Also it`s cheaper. 30 euros for a year vignette is no match against the extra tolls (Brenner 8 euros each way), Austrian vignette (10 days 8 euros) and the extra tolls in Italy.


Truck traffic across the Brenner Autobahn did increase after Switzerland introduced the LSVA (Truck Tolls). However, it is unlikely to switch back to the Gotthard Tunnel if capacity increases, mainly because traffic congestion at the Gotthard Tunnel is not an issue to truck drivers as they are banned on the busiest days. The whole problem with the Gotthard is not truck traffic (there isn't much) but holiday traffic. This is a year-round problem, not just a few summer weekends, but many weekends, also in the winter and spring and around public holidays.

While the number of vehicles stuck in traffic congestion at the Gotthard is generally less than say around Zürich or Basel, the delays are much more significant.
...
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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #1850
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Not true. All traffic coming from North and Eastern France, Benelux, the UK and western Germany are better off through Swiss. It saves 100 to 160 km going to most of Italy, including towards Rome, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. (A1, A14). Brenner would only serve Garda Lake. There are hardly any Dutch, French and English crossing the Brenner, but they are all there queuing at the Gotthard. Also it`s cheaper. 30 euros for a year vignette is no match against the extra tolls (Brenner 8 euros each way), Austrian vignette (10 days 8 euros) and the extra tolls in Italy.
If you go from the Netherlands to Rome it's only a detour of 30 kilometers if you drive via the Fernpass and Brennerpass. If you want to keep the motorway via Nürnberg and München it's an additional 100 km.

By the way, the Swiss vignette is not cheaper than the Austrian tolls anymore. If you pay 4 x € 8, it's € 32 to get through Austria two times, while 40 CHF is currently € 33,30. This is due to the high exchange rate of the Swiss Franc. Just about a year ago or so the Swiss vignette was still about € 5 cheaper. Gassing up in Austria is also probably cheaper nowadays, especially Diesel.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #1851
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You're right, I actually meant traffic, not capacity. If there was so much traffic on the A2, there should be constant traffic jams before the Gotthard tunnel, but AFAIK, they're regular only in summer.
That's an argument being used by the Romands (french-speaking Swiss who rarely use the Gotthard motorway, even to go to Canton Ticino) against the second tunnel (they would prefer that money used on their territory).

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It depends. Truck tolls in Switzerland are so high that for most of Italy (even the Milano area), detouring via the Brenner Autobahn is cheaper.
I wonder if this will change with the Eurovignette (not the absolute values of the tolls, but if considering the extra fuel the Brenner will still be cheaper).

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The whole problem with the Gotthard is not truck traffic (there isn't much) but holiday traffic.
My worry is not a 2+2 road tunnel (with the rest of the Alpen-Initiative still in place), but the single track/low capacity railway lines in Northern Italy...I fear that rail capacity will not be sufficient...

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By the way, the Swiss vignette is not cheaper than the Austrian tolls anymore. If you pay 4 x € 8, it's € 32 to get through Austria two times, while 40 CHF is currently € 33,30. This is due to the high exchange rate of the Swiss Franc. Just about a year ago or so the Swiss vignette was still about € 5 cheaper. Gassing up in Austria is also probably cheaper nowadays, especially Diesel.
Latest news are for a yearly vignette of 70 CHF/58 EUR. I haven't heard of the two months vignette anymore, although this doesn't mean it will not exist.

[email protected]_UK: how do you manage to pay tolls as you use a RHD vehicle on the continent where toll booths are on the left?
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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:54 PM   #1852
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Not true. All traffic coming from North and Eastern France, Benelux, the UK and western Germany are better off through Swiss. It saves 100 to 160 km going to most of Italy, including towards Rome, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. (A1, A14). Brenner would only serve Garda Lake. There are hardly any Dutch, French and English crossing the Brenner, but they are all there queuing at the Gotthard. Also it`s cheaper. 30 euros for a year vignette is no match against the extra tolls (Brenner 8 euros each way), Austrian vignette (10 days 8 euros) and the extra tolls in Italy.
In my experience, the Dutch are the second most frequent nationality at the Brenner, after of course the Germans and even before the Austrians. Maybe not around the year, but surely in summer.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #1853
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That's an argument being used by the Romands (french-speaking Swiss who rarely use the Gotthard motorway, even to go to Canton Ticino) against the second tunnel (they would prefer that money used on their territory).
Of course, they live in Switzerland, they want as much money as possible from Bern, but Gotthard traffic jams are annoying enough to warrant a second tube.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #1854
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That's an argument being used by the Romands (french-speaking Swiss who rarely use the Gotthard motorway, even to go to Canton Ticino) against the second tunnel (they would prefer that money used on their territory).
They can probably be appeased with an 1+1 Interlaken - Visp (rough direction) tunnel and a tunnel of Neufenpaß to connect Ticino with Valais.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 01:05 AM   #1855
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Of course, they live in Switzerland, they want as much money as possible from Bern, but Gotthard traffic jams are annoying enough to warrant a second tube.
It's probably going to be built by 2027, with 2+2 from 2033. Just a little patience.

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They can probably be appeased with an 1+1 Interlaken - Visp (rough direction) tunnel and a tunnel of Neufenpaß to connect Ticino with Valais.
Nobody is asking for a road there. The last request from Wallis was for a rail tunnel, which has been built and well used. It had to offer an Eurotunnel Shuttle-like service, but this has been abandoned (and still nobody is asking for it).
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Old June 29th, 2012, 01:27 AM   #1856
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The point is that fussy Swiss have taken over valley politics and they vote with 1430 mentality.

Not a Swiss thing only though. There are some valleys in Italy taken by these people, but there the gov't can just ignore the drama and whining and built infrastructure.

My day dream: some tunnel linking Tasch with Cervinia (Italy).
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Old June 29th, 2012, 01:34 AM   #1857
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What's the problem if the main users of a projected road don't ask for its construction?
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Old June 29th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #1858
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It's probably going to be built by 2027, with 2+2 from 2033. Just a little patience.
Just two decades left. No problem for me though, I haven't been to Switzerland since 2008.

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What's the problem if the main users of a projected road don't ask for its construction?
They're probably nationalist fools and by far not the only users. How do you know they don't want it anyway?

Last edited by Verso; June 29th, 2012 at 03:04 AM.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 03:43 AM   #1859
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What's the problem if the main users of a projected road don't ask for its construction?
Just because somebody live near an infrastructure installation doesn't mean they are necessarily their main users
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Old June 29th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #1860
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The case is not that black and white. The jam-free twin tunnel may remove the issue of the local pollution due to congestion. But it still increases the traffic bandwidth, and attracts more traffic to the Swiss transit routes. Thus, the total amount on emissions increases while the local peaks may be relieved.
Your conclusion does not follow from your premise. It is possible, but unlikely, that opening another tunnel would add enough additional traffic to increase pollution more than pollution would be reduced by the reduction of congestion.

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I can very well understand the attitude in Switzerland. The small country is surrounded by EU countries. If the EU wants to improve the north-south connections, why Switzerland should build those on behalf of the EU.
Would it help to have a more direct motorway from Bergamo to Bolzano, perhaps running near the SS42? With some tunnels, it might be possible to cut about 50km versus the A4/A22 route.

How about extending Germany's A7 and A95 to intersection with Austria's A12 near Innsbruck?

On the west side of Switzerland, France could perhaps extend the A404 northward to intersect with the A36 near Montbéliard.

In short, the EU could build a ring road around Switzerland if Switzerland is impeding traffic on a large enough scale. Obviously, the terrain and distances would make this the world's most expensive ring road.
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