Freeway toll

Markus Söder, Minister President of Bavaria, has written to the new Federal Minister of Transport, Volker Wissin. In this letter, he advocates higher tolls at the Brenner Pass

Markus Soder, prime minister of Bavaria, has written to Volker Wissin, the new federal transport minister. In it, he argues for higher tolls at the Brenner Pass.

Image: Peter Kneffel, dpa (Archive)

Markus Soder, Minister-President of Bavaria, has written to the new Federal Minister of Transport Volker Wissin. In this one, he argues for higher tolls at the Brenner Pass.

Image: Peter Kneffel, dpa (Archive)

One problem on the Brenner route is the “relatively low tolls,” she says, says a letter of Soder to the new Federal Minister of Transport Volker Wissing (FDP).

“This causes truck drivers from the Netherlands and western Germany to take a long detour via the Brenner Pass instead of the much shorter Gotthard route, putting additional strain not only on the Alpine pass itself but also on the already heavily congested highways in Bavaria.” The letter is available to the German Press Agency first had the”Munchner Merkur” reported on this.

Truck toll: Soder wants to increase prices on Brenner route

Soder argues that in future up to 50 percent toll surcharge on heavily congested routes is possible under EU law. “The draft version of the new Eurovignette Directive recently approved by the EU Council provides for the possibility of applying higher surcharges of up to 50 percent and differentiation according to CO2 emissions when setting tolls on heavily congested stretches of road.”, Soder writes and demands:

“The federal government must both exhaust its own possibilities here and support Austria in adjusting the toll rates within a proportionate framework in such a way that the current long-range evasive traffic on the Brenner route is avoided.”

Traffic jam at Brenner to be avoided by shifting the traffic

Soder argues further: “In addition to the avoidance, the shift of truck traffic to rail also leads to an improvement in the congestion situation at the Brenner.” The prerequisite is “a sufficiently efficient capacity of the rail infrastructure”.

Due to the block clearance at the border with the Austrian state of Tyrol, massive traffic jams occur time and again

Around 60 kilometer long traffic jam up to Munich due to truck block handling

Therefore, in the letter to Wissing, Soder also demands more speed in the planning of the so-called Brenner north access road. The rail route south of Munich must be “largely underground” run. The goal is “maximum resident-friendliness, i.e. noise and landscape protection”. In the counties concerned, there is considerable resistance to the previous route plans.

Truck block clearance repeatedly causes dispute between Bavaria and Tyrol

There has long been a dispute between Bavaria and neighboring Tyrol over the practice of block truck clearance there: On certain days, Tyrol only allows a certain number of trucks per hour to cross the border at Kufstein in order to reduce congestion on the busy Inntal autobahn.

This regularly leads to long traffic jams on the German side. There has been criticism of this approach from Germany for years, especially from Bavaria. In Bavaria’s opinion, block clearance in the Tyrol is permissible only in serious emergency situations in order to avoid traffic gridlock. The current Tyrolean practice, however, goes far beyond that. (Read also: gatherings: Traffic obstructions in Bregenz on Friday and Saturday)

Will Bavaria sue at the European Court of Justice?

Bavaria and the CSU therefore consider an action before the European Court of Justice to be unavoidable if necessary – Soder is also pushing for this. “Although the EU’s Internal Market, Transport and Environment Directorates-General have expressed serious doubts about the legality of Tyrol’s measures under EU law, no infringement proceedings have yet been initiated before the European Court of Justice”, it says in this connection in Soders letter to Wissing.

He demands: “Both the EU Commission and the Federal Government are called upon to finally act now.”

Soder wants to shift more traffic from road to rail

Nevertheless, there is a “common understanding between Tyrol and Bavaria that all parties involved must make efforts to improve the situation at the Brenner Pass”.

In this context, his demand regarding tolls is also relevant: “The evasion of the Brenner route must be counteracted and more traffic must be shifted from road to rail, emphasizes the Bavarian Minister President. (Read also: Precise rules and adjournment for Soder: Fools must prepare for this in 2022)

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