Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger has suggested that his European colleagues look to Switzerland for a good example of how to fund big infrastructure projects.
He was speaking during the TEN-T days 2010, a European Union conference in Zaragoza in Spain, which debated plans for an integrated, efficient and environmentally friendly transport system for the continent.
Discussions at the two-day meeting, which finished on June 9, focused in particular on how to finance economically important freight corridors.
The Swiss model for funding large rail freight projects, such as the AlpTransit rail tunnels linking north to south at Gotthard and Lötschberg, is considered exemplary, said the transport ministry in a statement on Thursday. Many participants called for a similar system, it added.
Leuenberger urged his colleagues to look at introducing a “eurovignette” road fee paying system for heavy lorries. A similar system is in place in Switzerland with the funds going towards the AlpTransit project.
In this way the “polluter-payer” principle would be applied to heavy goods vehicles across the whole of Europe. This would allow for the funding of big projects within the EU, while avoiding such traffic using non-fee routes, the statement said.
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