Swiss to vote on service station shop hours

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Opponents to planned changes to the law that will remove some restrictions on how service stations operate shops at night are taking the issue to Swiss citizens. A popular initiative to challenge the changes, approved by both houses of parliament in late 2012, now has enough signatures to force a vote. Political […]

Ice and snow cause accidents on Swiss roads over weekend

Reminder: it's illegal in Switzerland to drive a car without clearing the windows, but also the snow off the roof of the car (photo, Monday morning near Sierre in Valais)

Monday morning icy conditions in Geneva area, cold to continue GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – There was less snow than promised in western Switzerland, but enough of it, mixed with rain to cause icy road conditions over the weekend. German-speaking Switzerland was hardest hit, with canton Aargau registering more than 50 accidents. The autoroute towards Ticino was […]

Swiss autoroute upkeep to cost drivers CHF100 a year


BERN, SWITZERLAND – Start saving now: you have until 2014 or possibly 2015 to buy the new CHF100 annual autoroute sticker, technically a road tax that is the Swiss version of tolls. The lower house of parliament has agreed with the upper house to raise the annual tax starting when current reserves fall below a […]

Traffic lights for Swiss autoroute entrances under study


LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Smart highways could be around the corner in Switzerland, with EPFL, the federal polytechnic institute in Lausanne, undertaking a study to improve traffic flows by using stoplights to enter highways, with funding from the Swiss Federal Roads Office. There may be a growing sense of urgency to resolve highway traffic jams; Lausanne […]

Gotthard tunnel: plan to line up, folks


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Gotthard tunnel at noon Friday 6 March had stationary traffic for 9 km on the north side, as Good Friday traffic builds up, the federal road service’s Truckinfo site shows. Traffic is very slow heading south from Chur due congested conditions, but several other parts of the country, particularly autoroutes around […]

Roadworks season about to open: Zug to reduce jams, Montreux for repairs

BERN, SWITZERLAND  – The spring season for roadworks is about to open, with the Swiss federal government spending CHF2.1 billion this year on national roads, CHF1.3b of which goes for road maintenance. An additional CHF90 million is being spent to reduce traffic jams in two areas, Zoug (Blegi-Rütihof) and the Härkingen-Wiggertal stretch in eastern Switzerland […]

Bye-bye CHF40 road tax, as Bern opts for higher tolls

Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Switzerland will integrate another 400 km of roads into the federal road system by 2015, but at a cost: the larger network plus growing traffic will cost the Swiss Confederation some CHF275 million francs in maintenance. The financing solution decided on by the Federal Council is to introduce a two-tiered road […]

Prepare to slow down for major commuter survey

Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – People travelling into Geneva by any method can expect to be stopped and handed a questionnaiare between 21 March and mid-April. Vaud, Geneva and neighbouring France are pooling their efforts to better understand commuters’ and others’ transport needs in the region by organizing a vast survey of current needs. […]

Swiss lawmakers consider all-night gas station shops

Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Gas station shops along autoroutes and main highways in Switzerland could soon sell goods all night, if the federal taxation and finance committee of the lower house of parliament has its way. It is recommending that the stations’ staff be allowed to sell not only restaurant food and petrol during the […]

Parliament votes for CHF850m to cover transport cash flow crunch


Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Projects such as the third rail line between Vaud and Geneva, considered urgent in the region but far down the long 20-year list of Swiss transport projects, will now be able, in exceptional cases, to get advance funding. The lower house of the Swiss parliament Tuesday joined the upper house in […]