Gridlock forecast for Swiss roads at Easter as SBB increases services
The Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) has forecast heavy disruption on Swiss roads this Easter holiday, as drivers travelling for trips away are expected to cause traffic jams and bottlenecks on Swiss motorways. It comes as the main provider of public transport in Switzerland - Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) - is set to increase the number of rail services over Easter to cope with increased demand.
Heavy traffic expected in Switzerland over Easter
In a statement, FEDRO said that from next Wednesday afternoon, “Travellers must expect to lose time and wait.” The government said that, due to the ending of all federal COVID restrictions, the amount of tourist traffic travelling through or to Switzerland is expected to be the highest seen in two years.
In particular, the office is concerned about the “north-south axis” - the motorways between large Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva and by extension cities in Germany, and the holiday destinations of Ticino and Italy. The office expects heavy traffic jams moving southward in passes through the mountains between next Wednesday and Thursday, with exceptionally heavy northbound traffic on Easter Sunday and Monday.
Traffic jams expected on mountain passes and motorways
According to FEDRO, the following routes are expected to be congested.
- Gotthard Road Tunnel
- San Bernardino Pass
- Spiez - Kandersteg (southbound)
- Gampel - Goppenstein (northbound)
- Fountain - Flüelen (Axenstrasse)
- Raron - Brig
- Bellinzona - Locarno
- Various main roads in the Bernese Oberland, in Graubünden and in the Valais.
FEDRO noted that the borders between the alpine nation and other countries at Chiasso, Au, Koblenz, St. Margrethen and Thayngen are also expected to be congested.
SBB puts on extra services between Zurich and Ticino
In response to the heightened demand over Easter, SBB has confirmed that it will be increasing the number of seats available on rail services between German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino. 24 extra trains will be put on the rails or “nearly 31.000 additional places,” SBB said.
The extra capacity will be achieved by adding railcars and power units to existing services, including those on French, Italian and German trains. SBB advised passengers hoping to travel at Easter to reserve their seats in advance.