Lengthy delays in the flow of alternating traffic through the Gotthard Tunnel are expected to be shortened beginning next week, for safety reasons.This content was published on February 8, 2002 - 07:44
Waiting periods within the Gotthard currently run from three to four hours, but officials want to reduce the delays to an average of 50 minutes.
The complicated plan would also speed up domestic traffic during the morning rush hour.
The new measures being introduced by the Swiss Federal Roads Authority and the affected cantons would allow two lots of domestic traffic - from Ticino and German-speaking areas of Switzerland - to go through the tunnel during two green light phases, each lasting up to 90 minutes, between five and eight in the morning.
After that, commercial traffic through the tunnel would alternate by direction, every three hours.
Previously, longer traffic intervals were blamed for a higher number of vehicle breakdowns and a decrease in road safety along the northern ramp of the tunnel.
Nevertheless, traffic congestion along Switzerland's main transalpine axis is easing up, according to Swiss federal authorities.
The flow of traffic through the Gotthard was around 3,300 trucks per day, for the month of January.
swissinfo with agencies
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