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Cabinet allocates funds for road and rail

The government has earmarked SFr2.86 billion ($2.85 billion) for upgrading the country's motorways and improve road and rail transport in suburban areas.

The funds for two separate projects are to be staggered over several phases and remain subject to approval by parliament, Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger told journalists on Wednesday.

The Zurich and Lausanne regions stand to benefit from efforts to reduce congestion on motorways, while more than 20 towns and cities across the country, including Basel, Geneva and Bern, are to obtain funds for suburban train systems from 2011 onwards.

However, Leuenberger warned that the projects might be delayed by government spending cuts to be announced by the end of the year.

"Parliament might also try to amend our list," he added.

A week ago Leuenberger mooted plans for a new charging system for road and rail, known as mobility pricing, both to compensate for an expected shortfall in revenue on heating oil, petrol and diesel and to encourage a more efficient use of public and private transport.

Switzerland's current motorway network is 1,800km long, built over the past 50 years.

Urs Geiser,


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