conflict 5


Congestion in the Alps: smart solutions for an optimised capacity use and for limiting safety and environmental impacts.
Increasing transport volumes do not only lead to environmental problems but also cause congestion, especially on the major Alpine corridors. On some of these motorways, capacities are already fully used during regular working days and come to their limits during peak holiday travelling times. Resulting congestion leads to a further increase of air pollution but also to safety issues, especially on corridors with tunnels. In order to maintain the competitiveness of regional businesses which depend on reliable transport services as well as to avoid unwanted traffic shifts between corridors, the Alpine regions have implemented different measures to deal with congestion.
Switzerland: Phase red on the Gotthard corridor
To guarantee safety in the 16.9 km long Gotthard road tunnel, several innovative safety measures have been introduced at the Gotthard tunnel in response to the tragic fire in the year 2001. The traffic control system includes a “phase red” warning which will be issued once the number of cars entering the Gotthard and neighbouring San Bernardino tunnel exceeds the rate of 1,000 per hour. At this point, Swiss border officials will stop truck drivers from using the routes leading to the tunnels. This measure reduces congestion on the Gotthard motorway which is however only relevant during peak travelling times.
Tyrol: Congestion on the Brenner motorway
Due to comparatively cheap tolls for heavy goods vehicles on the Brenner corridor and cheap fuel prices in Austria (“fuel tourism”) congestion levels caused in particular by road freight transport remains high on motorways in Tyrol. The situation is aggravated during peak travelling times, as the majority of visitors to Tyrol arrive by private car, resulting in severe road congestion on the motorways and at the entrance to the main tourism valleys. This leads to an increase in commuting time for residents and increases transport costs for local businesses. Thus, drastic measures to control the number of HGV are being taken by the regional government, with block admission systems imposed on certain days.
Piedmont: Increase of level crossing closing times on the Alpine Rhine Corridor
The impacts generated by numerous intersections of the railway lines with the local road are already evident. In some particularly busy roads, the possible increase of level crossing closing times, due to increased freight train traffic, may cause heavy traffic road slowdowns and traffic jams with higher local impacts such as acoustic impact and air pollution. It would be necessary to map the points of possible conflict and study the most suitable solutions to solve the problems, acting both at the territorial level (suppression of level crossings and alternative road construction), and at the technological level (reducing the closing time of the level crossings themselves).

conflict 6


Sustainable mobility requires appropriate infrastructures: challenges with the construction of modal-shift infrastructures.
Shifting passenger and freight transport to sustainable transport modes requires the implementation of smart incentive systems as well as the development of high-quality infrastructures. Especially for rail transport, the further extension of infrastructures is necessary to avoid bottlenecks and time losses. For freight transport, this includes the construction of further combined transport terminals to facilitate intermodal solutions but also the further development of major railway lines. Some crucial projects have already been completed, with the Gotthard base tunnel being one major milestone. Other projects like the base tunnels on the Brenner and Lyon-Turin routes are still under development.Infrastructure development in the sensitive Alpine environment however leads to some specific challenges, especially regarding impacts on nature and landscape. But also, potential social conflicts need to be considered as all new infrastructures in the narrow Alpine valley have impacts on existing settlement structures and land-use.
Europa Bridge / © Rosel
Intermodal terminals and ports for combined transport
The principle of combined transport is that long-distance, mainly international transports are subdivided into a long-distance leg on rail (or sea) and a short-distance leg on road for the local distribution of goods. The hubs of such logistic chains are multimodal terminals or seaports, mostly at a central location within a region. Combined transport is more sustainable than transport on road only. However the time and cost of transshipment and still inefficient bundling of goods, are obstacles to combined transport. To guarantee efficient multimodal logistic chains, investments in terminal infrastructure and technology are necessary.
Base tunnels across the Alps to support modal shift
Cost-intensive large-scale infrastructure tunnel projects are con­sidered fundamental by the EU as well as Switzerland to cope with increasing traffic volumes on the transalpine corridors. With the construction of tunnels, the impacts on nature and landscape and noise are reduced to a minimum. At the same time, significant time savings on long-distance routes are achieved. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is a major railway project in Siwtzerland which opened in 2016 with a route length of 57 km. The Brenner Base Tunnel, when opening in 2026, will be the longest railway tunnel in the world with a total length of 64 km between Austria and Italy. The Lyon-Tu­rin high-speed railway line will better connect the two cities and link Italian and French rail networks. The core of the project will be a 57 km base tunnel predicted to open in 2025.
Friuli Venezia Giulia: enhancing cooperation among nodes and connections to the TEN-T
FVG is rich with multimodal infrastructures, with three ports and four railroad terminals. Yet, the existing infrastructural and ad­ministrative bottlenecks prevent to exploit their full potential. FVG region is com­mitted to enhancing cooperation among nodes and their connections to the TEN-T corridors in order to support modal shift to sustainable means of transport.