Summer traffic jams set to begin this weekend
Authorities are warning of traffic jams on Swiss roads starting on Friday when school holidays begin in several cantons, including Geneva and Graubünden.
The federal roads office predicted tailbacks starting this weekend in the Gotthard tunnel — the world’s third-longest road tunnel, linking central Switzerland to Italy — as vacations get under way.
During the month of July every Friday and Saturday night motorists using the 16.9-kilometre-long tunnel can expect traffic jams, the office said.
The tunnel forms part of the A2 motorway linking Basel in the north of Switzerland with Chiasso, the Ticino town on the Italian border.
The roads office said that holdups affect traffic in both directions.
The situation is complicated by roadwork on the alternate route through the Saint Gotthard pass between Gröschenen and Andermatt in the canton of Uri.
Touring Club Schweiz, the motorist group, is advising drivers to expect disruptions through the pass between now and 2019.
This weekend also marks the beginning of a series of summer music festivals with the Open Air festival in Saint Gallen, the Trucker & Country Festival in Interlaken (canton of Bern) and the Jazzascona New Orelans & Classics festival in Ascona (canton of Ticino).
TCS said motorists can brace for traffic problems in at least a ten motorway locations around the country, due in several cases to construction work.
Holdups are foreseen due to roadworks, for example, on the A9 motorway between Glion and Villeneuve in the canton of Vaud.
Bottlenecks can also be anticipated on sections of the A1 motorway (which links Geneva in the west to Saint Gallen in the northeast) between the interchanges of Härkingen (canton of Solothurn) and Wiggertal (canton of Aargau).
The summer season will get underway in earnest on July 5th when school holidays begin in 19 cantons.
For detailed information about expected traffic conditions on Swiss roads this summer, check the federal roads office website (information in German, French and Italian).