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Ever more people cross Swiss borders

More than a million people crossed the Swiss border every day in 2007, according to figures released on Friday.

The Federal Statistics Office said the figure of 1.3 million people was an increase of about eight per cent over 2001. The vast majority – 1.26 million – travelled by road, while just 47,000 crossed by train. The number of train travellers was up by 14 per cent on 2001.

Of those entering Switzerland, only 13 per cent did so for transit. Just over a third were residents of Switzerland, while 42 per cent were residents of foreign countries entering Switzerland briefly. The remaining 11 per cent came to spend longer than one day.

About half of those crossing the border by road and two-thirds of those crossing by train were travelling for leisure. On the road just over one quarter were on shopping trips, while a quarter of those using the train were travelling on business.

Cross-border commuters accounted overall for 15 per cent of those using the road and 13 per cent of those using the train. But the proportion varied greatly depending on the locality and time.

The road borders with Germany and France were the busiest, each with some 385,000 people crossing every day. About 210,000 people crossed the border with Italy daily.

The number of people crossing the Alps by road remained more or less at the 2001 level of nearly 72,000. Just over half of the vehicles were registered in Switzerland, while a quarter were transiting through the country. About 12,000 train passengers travelled through the Gotthard and Simplon tunnels on long-distance trains.

More than 80 per cent of all those crossing the Alps were doing so for leisure. with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR