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Tirol sectoral traffic ban won’t save the environment

3 Nov 2016

IRU reiterates its concern that the sectoral traffic ban in Tirol, Austria is not the best course of action to improve air quality while it will also seriously restrict the free movement of goods.

In July 2016, the European Commission started infringement proceedings against Austria for the sectoral traffic ban which came into force on 1 November 2016 on a section of the A12 motorway in the Inn Valley. This is the third time in 14 years that Tirol has attempted to bring in such a ban, with both previous attempts ending in European Court of Justice verdicts that the ban was not in conformity with EU law.

In order to avoid another case before the European Court of Justice, in the final text of the law Tirol is exempting Euro VI vehicles from the sectoral traffic ban and temporarily exempting Euro V vehicles until 30 April 2017.

This policy runs in contradiction even to Tirol's own research which argues that trucks’ contribution to poor air quality in the Inn Valley is minimal therefore selectively banning them will have a negligible impact. This shows that Tirol is not meeting one of the important preconditions stipulated by the prior European Court of Justice verdicts, that of proportionality. Therefore, IRU cannot support these compromises.