Talks at a standstill over Brenner Pass gridlock

International Road Transport Union (IRU) is asking that the EU step in to solve the traffic bottleneck issue at the Brenner Pass – a major transport corridor between Italy and Austria.

With traffic queues reaching upwards of 70km long, authorities are struggling to agree on how to deal with pass which is one of the busiest transit routes in the Union with at least 7,000 trucks using it daily.

The Brenner Pass is a mountain pass through the Eastern Alps and is the lowest and most direct mountain pass between the two countries.

Adding to the issue, the IRU said following a recent transport meeting in Luxembourg, is Austria’s quantitative restrictions on road freight transport, which is causing more disruptions.

“Unfortunately, Austria has not shown any real willingness to resolve the Brenner Pass issue, which has been dragging on for years,” said Raluca Marian, IRU Director of EU Advocacy, adding that the free movement of goods shouldn’t be impacted by any decisions.

“The Commission should use all legal tools at its disposal to unlock the situation. Discussions may not be enough.”

During the meeting, both Germany and Italy emphasised that the current situation is unsustainable and causes long border queues. They stressed that the principle of free movement should be safeguarded.

The IRU is concerned not just about the queues or the flow of goods, but also the continuous CO2 emissions caused by idling vehicles.

One suggestion has been to increase rail transport, but the IRU believes both modes of transportation, road and train, are required for such heavy movement.

In other news, ship and port company, Anker Schiffahrts-Gesellschaft, has opened a new headquarters in Emden, Germany, demonstrating its commitment to the seaport city in the northwest of the country.

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