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Tyrolean night-time driving ban violates EU rules!

Since 1 January 2021, a night-time ban on diesel trucks has been in force in the Austrian province of Tyrol. An expert report by the University of Innsbruck has now made it clear that this is in contradiction to EU rules.

Tyrol is a typical transit country. Italy exports 70 percent of its goods, which have a total weight of 50 million tonnes, via the Brenner Pass. In the future, an annual increase in goods traffic of 2 to 3 percent is expected. In view of these massive truck movements, Tyrol imposed a night driving ban on diesel-powered trucks at the beginning of the year, no matter how clean they are. This only applies to trucks that merely pass through the province. Journeys that either start or end in Tyrol are not affected.

But this contradicts the rules of the free movement of goods and the common internal market of the EU, as an expert opinion of the University of Innsbruck has now found. CSU transport policy spokesman Ferber appealed to the EU Commission to take measures to enforce EU law, if necessary with infringement proceedings against Austria.

The night driving ban has been regularly criticised since its introduction. Opponents argue that the ban causes significantly more congestion and air pollution: the affected trucks simply stop driving at night, instead jostling for space on the motorways over the Alps during the day. This increases air pollution and the formation of traffic jams.

In Tyrol itself, they appear unimpressed and are self-confident. Transport councillor Felipe of the Green Party says that the air-hygienic effectiveness of the ban on night-time driving by lorries is considerable. All imposed driving bans are EU-compliant, she says. She is therefore relaxed about the accusations and threats of legal action.