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Unseasonal weather conditions cause traffic nightmare

Snowfall in Swiss Alps worsens tailbacks on southbound route through Gotthard tunnel. Keystone

Heavy snowfall in the Swiss mountains at the weekend caused an 18 kilometre tailback on the northern side of the Gotthard tunnel, with motorists travelling south facing up to five hours of delays.

Around 23 centimetres of snow fell in the night in the Alpine areas which contributed to the worsening of the traffic situation outside the Gotthard tunnel.

A large amount of cars had been expected anyway, since several Swiss canton started their school holidays in this year’s third wave of summer vacation traffic.

The Swiss Touring Club said it expected the weather situation to improve slightly late on Saturday and were asking holidaymakers to take the Gotthard Pass route as an alternative to the tunnel.

However, motorists were still facing tailbacks ranging between five and 10 kilometres on the Ticinese side of the Gotthard tunnel.

The Touring Club also warned that there were traffic jams between Chiasso and Como in Italy of about six kilometres in length.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR