Swiss city moves to ban home deliveries for parcels

Swiss city moves to ban home deliveries for parcels

Authorities in Lucerne have submitted plans to ban home parcel deliveries from the Swiss postal service and other companies. Supporters argue that the measure will help ease traffic for drivers, a fact the opposition has contradicted.

Lucerne to ban home deliveries for parcels

According to 20 minuten, around 800.000 letters and parcels are delivered in Switzerland every day by a small army of post office and other workers. During special events, like Christmas and Black Friday, 1,3 million parcels are delivered to customers in cities and cantons across the country.

However, according to the local council (Gemeinde) in Lucerne, parcel deliveries are having a huge impact on traffic. With such a large number of vans driving on smaller streets to get to their destinations, authorities argue that traffic flow throughout the city is disrupted.

To solve the problem, the city of Lucerne has planned to ban the delivery of parcels to private housing. The policy, which is already a proposal in Bern, would require all residents visit a designated “pick-up” station in order to get their orders. Weirdly, according to 20 minuten, the mobility department in Lucerne is planning to set up these “pick-up stations” in low-traffic areas first, before rolling out the policy city-wide.

Banning deliveries may increase traffic in Lucerne

Needless to say, many politicians are against the plan, with city councillor Claudio Soldieri claiming that the parcel pick-up system “could worsen traffic in the city.” He argued that the policy would replace a single delivery van with hundreds of individual drivers that now have to travel to the pick-up zone, and that by making the stations mandatory in low-traffic areas, the government was incentivising car use.

The national post office, Swiss Post, is also not a huge fan of the policy. Spokesperson Denise Birchler told 20 minuten that they rejected the project as “human contact is important for our postmen and women, which is made possible by delivering parcels directly to citizens.”

Swiss cities' delivery bans may not be strictly legal

What’s more, Birchler argued that the idea might not be strictly legal. She made the point that the idea may contradict the National Post Act, which stipulates that the “post office must bring letters and parcels to the front door.”

The home delivery of parcels and goods is also considered “economically necessary” by federal law, meaning any plan to restrict parcel services might be breaking government rules. Nevertheless, the highly controversial idea is set to be voted on in the coming weeks.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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