Road transport industry fights disproportionate driving restrictions in Austria

News from Brussels

Source: IRU, 2021-03-02

IRU, along with several of its EU member associations, has written to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling for European Commission action against multiple driving bans for heavy goods vehicles in the Austrian Region of Tyrol.

Tyrol has imposed restrictions on commercial goods vehicles pointing to problems with poor air quality, while at the same time increasing speed limits for cars also pointing to improved air quality. These measures are contradictory, disproportionate and block the free movement of goods, breaching the fundamental law of the European Union. Tyrol has already been condemned twice by the Court of Justice of the European Union for trying to restrict goods transport by road without providing adequate alternatives.

The driving bans, block clearances and night tolls are obstructing truck movements and leading to extreme congestion when roads reopen in the mornings. Tyrol authorities have indicated that goods could be transported by rail and combined transport instead, but the connections available are insufficient. The European Commission promised in 2019 a dramatic increase in rail capacity by 2021, which has not been realised. Essential goods therefore cannot be moved without trucks.

“Tyrol is hampering the free movement of goods on an important north–south trade route. This violates the fundamental law of the European Union and disregards judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union setting out conditions for such measures in Tyrol. IRU is counting on the European Commission to act swiftly to uphold EU law” said Raluca Marian, IRU General Delegate to the EU.

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