Addressing the issue of congestion on the A12 motorway and Brenner Pass in the Austrian Region of Tyrol, IRU welcomes the ministerial discussions which took place in Munich this week, but calls for a suspension of the current restrictions and encourages a more evenly spread use of the transit corridor by heavy goods vehicles.
Reinforcing the need for alternative options, IRU highlights the failures to minimise the negative impact of block clearance on traffic fluidity and road safety, and questions the contribution to the improvement of air quality, while noting insufficient measures to facilitate combined transport use.
The restrictive block clearance (Blockabfertigung) measures imposed by Tyrol stipulate that on certain days and timeframes only a maximum of 300 heavy goods vehicles can use the Brenner Pass motorway per hour on route to Italy.
Marc Billiet, who coordinates IRU’s goods transport activities in the European Union, commented: “The Tyrol block clearance should be suspended until sufficient alternative freight transit services are available, and measures to encourage a more evenly spread use of this transit corridor by heavy duty vehicles are required.”
In a letter sent to the European Commission, IRU made a series of suggestions on how to ease the traffic in the region. Relaxing the night time traffic ban for certain types of trucks, decreasing the toll rate for night time driving and introducing an exemption for trucks using combined transport are some of the potential solutions that could improve the current traffic fluidity.
IRU is keen to work closely with the Commission, Austria and the Tyrolean authorities to find acceptable solutions for all stakeholders.
Despite the intention of improving the offer for combined transport services and the potential toll increase, the Tyrol region did not commit to suspend the block clearance until more combined transport services are put in place, while measures to alleviate the negative impact of the block clearance were also missing.