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Autobahns of Switzerland

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Autobahns of Switzerland

Autobahnen in German, Autoroutes in French, Autostrade in Italian, Autostradas in Romansch are the names of the national freeways or motorways of Switzerland. Two of the most important freeways are the A1, running from St. Margrethen in northeastern Switzerland's canton of St. Gallen through to Geneva in southwestern Switzerland, and the A2, running from Basel in northwestern Switzerland to Chiasso in southern Switzerland's canton of Ticino, on the border with Italy.

Swiss motorways have a general speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph). Motorways are restricted to vehicles that can obtain a speed of at least 80 km/h (50 mph).

History

A short stretch of autobahn around the Lucerne area in 1955 created Switzerland's first autobahn. For Expo 1964, an autoroute was built between Lausanne and Geneva. The Bern-Lenzburg autobahn was inaugurated in 1967.

Current density

The Swiss autobahn/autoroute network has a total length (as of April 2012) of 1,763.6 kilometres (1,095.9 mi), of the planned 1,893.5 kilometres (1,176.6 mi), and has, by an area of 41,290 km², also one of the highest motorway densities in the world with many tunnels. There are 200 tunnels with a total length of 220 kilometres (140 mi).[1]

The Swiss autobahn/autoroute network has not yet been completed; priority has been given to the most important routes, especially the north-south and the west-east axis.

Swiss autobahns/autoroutes very often have an emergency lane except in tunnels. Some newly built autobahn sections, like the lone section crossing the Jura region in the north-western part of Switzerland, have only emergency bays.

Toll requirements

The Swiss autobahn/autoroute system requires the purchase of a vignette (toll sticker) — which costs 40 Swiss francs — for one calendar year in order to use its roadways, for both passenger cars and trucks.[2] The Swiss vignette is offered only as an annual toll sticker. Trucks also have to pay a toll based on the tonnage and the distance.


The cantons abandoned the right to raise road and bridge tolls to the Confederation, and the only way of funding the road system is partly through the vignette, the motor tax for every registered vehicle and mainly through the federal taxes levied on each liter of gasoline, diesel fuel, etc.

Tolls for the use of particular roads, tunnels or bridges cannot be raised according to the Swiss constitution and so even the use of cost-intensive pieces of infrastructure such as the Gotthard Road Tunnel is financed by the entire system. There are only the exceptions of the Munt la Schera and Great St Bernard tunnels and of the train shuttles carrying road vehicles.

List of Autobahnen/Autoroutes/Autostrade

Note: Portions in italics indicate routes under construction or projection.

  • A1 follows the country's main east–west axis from St. Gallen to Geneva:
A13 - St. Margrethen (Austrian border) - A1.1 - St. Gallen - Winterthur - Zürich - Olten - Aarau - Berne - Murten - Avenches - Payerne - Estavayer-le-Lac - Yverdon-les-Bains - Lausanne - Nyon - Geneva - Bardonnex (French border)

See also

References

External links

  • http://www.autobahnen.ch/ — A website with pictures, forum and routes of Swiss motorways
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