24 June 2022


Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean responded on 2nd June to a question sent by MEP Kosma Złotowski (ECR, Poland) in December 2021 criticising the Commission for not reacting to Austrian restrictions on truck traffic in the Tyrol region.

Mr Złotowski argues that Austria’s policy to restrict lorry traffic through Tyrol is increasingly hampering transport services in the region and affecting supply chains across the EU. Following on from block clearances and sectoral bans, the night-time truck ban is yet another restriction on the free movement of goods. Concentrating all transport during the day means increased and usually slower traffic generating much more air pollution than with round‐the‐clock but smooth traffic. MEP Zlotowski also notes that the main victims of these rules are the drivers, who are condemned to spend long hours stuck in traffic jams without access to sanitary facilities.

In her response Commissioner Vălean noted that the traffic restrictions have been justified by the government of Tyrol with the necessity to avoid congestion and excessive truck traffic on the A12 freeway. As long as the Brenner Base Tunnel is not completed, which is expected to solve at least a large part of challenges, alternative solutions are needed. Ms Valean reiterated that the Commission is determined to continue working with Austria, Germany and Italy to agree on a common package of measures and has already taken several steps in this regard.

CLECAT addressed the question in a webinar in 2021 and regrets that the situation is still not improving. While freight forwarders appreciate that the Austrian government needs to address the air quality concerns in the region, they are confronted with a lack of alternatives, as there is a lack of capacity in rail freight, electricity, and sustainable alternative fuels, as well as the respective charging and refuelling infrastructure, which is not widely accessible for HGVs along the Brenner.