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13 road transport organisations against Austria: “Additional transit bans discriminate against international freight traffic”.

More than a dozen transport organisations from across Europe are intervening over additional lorry bans on Austria's A10 motorway. In a joint letter, the organisations have called on Brussels to take action.

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Thirteen European road transport associations have called on the European Commission to take action against new transit bans on the Austrian Tauern motorway, which have been in force since the end of January.

Organisations from all over Europe, including Austria, stress that the number of unilateral transit restrictions introduced by the Austrian government has been steadily increasing for years. Freight traffic on the Brenner motorway has long been severely restricted by various transit prevention measures such as driving bans and block checks.

At the beginning of the year, a new ban appeared on another important trans-European route – this time on the A10 (Tauern motorway). Lorries travelling to Germany or Slovenia/Italy are banned on all Friday afternoons. In addition, the start of the weekend ban on the Tauern motorway has been brought forward to 7 a.m. on Saturdays.

The ban on Friday afternoons, introduced with only one day’s notice, has had a particularly far-reaching impact. As a result of the new ban, many vehicles are unable to reach base in time for the weekend. Drivers are forced to spend the weekend in the cab of their vehicle instead of at home. This goes against the spirit of the EU’s Mobility Package, which aims to improve working conditions for truck drivers. The ban could exacerbate driver shortages across Europe, the organisations thunder.

As vehicles used for domestic or local transport in Austria are exempted from the ban, the associations argue that this indirectly leads to a preference for Austrian vehicles.

Driving bans that only allow transport to and from Austria violate the principle of free movement of goods in the EU and discriminate in particular against non-Austrian hauliers. Cross-border trade in the European Union is severely hampered by prohibitions that are hostile to the internal market. The European Commission, in its role as guardian of the Treaties, must urgently intervene here! – said Prof. Dr. Dirk Engelhardt, spokesman for the board of the German association BGL.

The following associations have written to Brussels: International Road Transport Union (IRU), AEBTRI of Bulgaria, AISOE of Austria, ANITA of Italy, BGL of Germany, Cesmad Bohemia of the Czech Republic, FAI of Italy, FIAP of Italy, FNTR of France, ITD of Denmark, NLA of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, TLN of the Netherlands. Romania’s UNTRR also signed the document.