NEWS: While we wait to hear what the Swiss government does next, we round up all you need to know about the famous motorway vignette, plus: an Italian lakeside debut for Rolls’ new Phantom Drophead Coupe. The Pordoi Pass has reopened. GPS might not work in Russia from 1 June. VW has bought Scania. The Dartford Crossings go cash-free in October. A Turkish trucker loses work thanks to a nesting pigeon. Belgian truck tolls are on course to start in 2016, and the ADAC says the minimum 60kmh speed on autobahns is a myth.
GIBRALTAR QUEUE WATCH: a consistent 40mins today.
SWITZERLAND MOTORWAY VIGNETTE UPDATE
A roundup of everything you need to know
Much anger, a campaign, demonstrations, a petition and finally a nationwide referendum. After all that, what ultimately changed with the Swiss motorway vignette? Absolutely nothing, since 1985 in fact.
Under the Swiss system of Direct Democracy, laws can be subject to a referendum if more than 50,000 signatures are collected within 100 days.
After the government decided last year to increase the price of the annual motorway vignette to 100CHF, bring in a two month tourist ticket for 40CHF, and take hundreds of kilometres of local roads into the national network – making them subject to the vignette – citizens collected a record 100,000 signatures inside a month.
When the referendum was held last November, the government’s plans were rejected by 60% of those who voted.
We are still waiting to hear a new set of proposals from the Swiss government as it wrestles with the thorny issue of how to pay to maintain and upgrade its motorway network. In the meantime, certainly for this year, the arrangements for the vignette remain as they have done since it was first introduced in 1985, including the price.
It costs 40CHF (€33) and is valid from 1 December of the year prior to the year printed on the front until 31 January the year after to allow for Christmas/New Year holidays.
It can be bought from filling stations in the vicinity of the border, from customs officials at the border – paying in either Swiss Francs (CHF) or Euro, Sterling or Dollars notes (change in CHF) – or from post offices/filling stations, etc, in Switzerland. You can also buy one in advance from Swiss Railways.
Simply attach the sticker to the left side of the windscreen, clearly visible from outside. The penalty for not having a valid vignette – even for one attached incorrectly – is 200CHF, and that applies to any that have been transferred from other vehicles (they are deliberately almost impossible to unstick intact). If you need a new windscreen you can apply for a free replacement.
The referendum defeat also means that the chargeable road network remains as it was, basically all motorways with the odd exception marked in yellow above (click to enlarge).
Those not intending to use Swiss motorways – and why would you when their main roads are so good? – do not need to buy the vignette.
Switzerland fuel watch, 13 May 2014: average price unleaded 95 €1.427, diesel €1.513.
New for 2014: daytime running lights (or dipped headlights) are now mandatory in Switzerland.
roundup: ITALY. Pordoi Pass has re-opened after Sunday’s 1,000 lightening strikes but SS242 Gardena Pass down to the A22 Brennero motorway at Barbiano is still shut today. RUSSIA is threatening to close all GPS stations in Russia from 1 June if the US does not allow Russia’s GLONASS satnav stations on its turf says TASS news agency. VW has finally completed its bid to buy Swedish truck maker Scania says thelocal.se. DARTFORD CROSSING. Cash payments will stop in October and be replaced by a pre-post pay system similar to the London Congestion Charge. HGV LEVY. 90% of foreign hauliers have paid the correct fee so far says @HGVLevy. TURKEY. A self-employed trucker in Sanliurfa, southern Turkey, hasn’t worked for 20 days because a pigeon has nested at the back of the cab. ‘God will compensate me for my loss,’ he says. BELGIUM. The electronic truck toll system is still on for 2016 after a consortium including UK supplier T-Systems was last week awarded preferred bidder status to build and operate the system. GERMANY. The 60kmh minimum speed on the autobahn is a myth says @ADAC.