What will Switzerland's roads and vehicles look like in 2050?

What will Switzerland's roads and vehicles look like in 2050?

A new forecast from the government has given a clear insight into what Swiss roads and driving in Switzerland will look like in 2050. The report found population growth will a lead to more cars on the roads and more passengers on public transport. The new forecast has also voiced concerns that current plans to expand the road and rail network will not be enough to keep up with demand.

More car journeys and mobile working predicted for 2050 in Switzerland

In a media conference in Bern, co-head of the transport modelling unit at the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), Andreas Justen, said that by 2050 around half of all jobs will be done at home. This will lead to a 13 percent decrease in the number of commuters, but experts from the federal government expect that people will spend more time on roads and motorways for fun as a result.

In their "basic scenario", the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (UVEK) expects the Swiss population to grow by 21 percent to around 10,3 million people by 2050. UVEK predicts that there will be a significant increase in the number of journeys taken in Switzerland by public transport as the population gets older and moves into retirement.

The government also predicts that car usage will increase by around 10 percent between now and 2050. Public transport will also see significant growth and the use of bicycles, particularly in Swiss cities, will also double during this time.

New vehicle taxes to cope with "megatrends" on Swiss roads

This is the first time “social megatrends,” such as new trends in shopping, work and education, are being used to plan for the future of transportation in Switzerland, said Vice Director at the ARE Ulrich Seewer. Among said trends is a 53 percent increase in the use of vans and delivery vehicles. The ARE found the pandemic has led to an explosion in online sales, which in turn has led to more vans on the road.

Both the ARE and UVEK agree that greater investment is needed in roads and rail to cope with rising demand, and more vehicle taxes on vans are needed to prevent them from dominating the roads. The government is also concerned that current plans, such as new infrastructure due to be completed in 2030, will not be sufficient to cope with the demand.

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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