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Fee for Swiss motorways set to more than double

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The Swiss motorway "vignette". Photo: admin.ch
09:01 CET+01:00
Using Switzerland's motorway network is set to become a lot more expensive.

The two houses of parliament have resolved their differences over a planned increase to the cost of the road tax disc, or ‘vignette’.

On the first day of the spring session the chambers agreed to raise the price to 100 francs from the current 40 francs – a staggering 150 percent hike.

But the increase won’t take effect until 2015.

And tourists will be spared: a two-month ‘vignette’ will be introduced that will cost 40 francs.

The government and Council of States had pushed for a 100-franc tax in the last session too. But the National Council had insisted on a 70-franc upper limit.

Now the bigger chamber has fallen into line.

Transport Minister Doris Leuthard stressed that the extra funds were needed for maintaining the country’s motorway network.

Without the increase to 100 francs, a number of road projects planned over the next ten to 15 years would have to be scrapped.

“The expansion doesn’t come free of charge,” she said, according to the Swiss news agency SDA.

Opposition to the price hike had come from left and right. A section of the right wing People’s Party (SVP/UDC) objected to road tax subsidizing the railways.

And Green politicians complained that the money would not just be used for maintenance but for building more roads.

Seven out of ten readers of 20 Minuten objected to the increase in a non-representative survey.

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