The government of the canton of Ticino is strongly opposed to tolls for the Gotthard road tunnel, reported RTS this week.
The idea of charging a toll for the highly congested Gotthard tunnel linking Ticino, which lies south of the Alps, to the rest of Switzerland, has been discussed for some time. In a public poll run at the end of June 2023, 69% of those surveyed said they believed a toll was needed, compared to 28% who were opposed to one.
However, this week, the cantonal government of Ticino wrote a letter to the Federal Council arguing that a toll would not reduce the volume of traffic. In addition, it said that a toll would penalise Switzerland’s only canton lying entirely south of the Alps and violate the principle of cantonal equality. Furthermore, a toll would create economic, social and cultural problems for the canton.
Citing experience in Italy, the cantonal executive also said that tolls clog up alternative routes with vehicles. A toll on the Gotthard tunnel would send vehicles to San Bernardino (GR) and Grand Saint-Bernard (VS) tunnels, it said. Although, somewhat confusingly, the Grand Saint-Bernard tunnel already charges a toll.
The one thing nearly everyone agrees on is that the queues of traffic either side of the tunnel during peak holiday seasons are long.