Alpine freight traffic increases in 2008

Rising fuel costs and an increase in the heavy goods vehicle tax failed to reduce the number of trucks crossing the Alps in the first six months of 2008.

This content was published on September 4, 2008 - 18:22

About 666,000 freight vehicles used the Swiss alpine passes in the first half of 2008, a 3.8 per cent increase compared with the same period last year, the Federal Transport Office said on Thursday.

The greatest increase was via the Simplon, with a rise of 10 per cent. The Great St Bernard and Gotthard both saw four per cent increases.

The Transport Office believes the rise is largely the result of a healthy economy.

High fuel prices have failed to reduce traffic because trucking companies pass those charges on to customers, it said. The increase in the heavy goods vehicle tax has not had the hoped for effect because most trucks crossing the Swiss Alps belong to a weight class that is taxed the least. s

Trans-alpine rail freight increased by 3.2 per cent in the same period, largely thanks to the opening of the base tunnel under the Lötschberg.

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