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Alps group urges protection of valleys

The dossier was published in Bern on Tuesday

(Keystone)

The Alpine Initiative and Doctors for the Environment have called for a reduction in noise and environmental pollution in Switzerland's valleys.

At a press conference in Bern on Tuesday, the group said traffic flow and natural valley properties, such as retaining heat and noise, were leading to a greater pollution of low land environments, which in turn posed a threat to health.

In a dossier entitled "Transport, Environment, Health", the doctors and Alpine Initiative representatives highlighted the need to protect valleys across the country.

Over the past 50 years, the volume of personal passenger traffic on valley roads has increased seven fold, while goods transportation has increased more than nine times over.

Series of measures

To combat noise pollution the officials outlined a series of measures including a recommendation to transfer road traffic to rail and the creation of noise free zones, where strict noise rules would be applied.

They also called for all heavy-goods vehicles to travel during the daytime and be prohibited from travelling by road at night.

To reduce noise levels on the rails, the group recommended that trains be fitted with disc braking systems and that any "noisy" rolling stock from abroad be prevented from travelling altogether.

The group also reiterated their objection to proposals to build a second Gotthard tunnel and came out in favour of traffic free Sundays.

Their press conference came a day after a report on air pollution in Swiss valleys was published by officials in Bellinzona.

swissinfo with agencies


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