Traffic in front of the Gotthard stood still for more than 800 hours


record summer

What’s going on at the Gotthard? Traffic in front of the tunnel stood still for more than 800 hours

The sheet metal avalanche in front of the Gotthard seemed to have no end over the summer. Evaluations by Viasuisse now show the full extent of the traffic jam.

It was particularly bad on the weekends in July: the 15-kilometer traffic jam on Saturday, July 23, between Göschenen and Erstfeld.

key stone

Motorists who drove south during this summer vacation were not to be envied. Bumper to bumper, progress was often slow in front of the Gotthard tunnel. The avalanche of traffic in the TCS reports was getting longer and longer: 5 kilometers of traffic jams, 10 kilometers, 15 kilometers.

The question arises: What is going on at the Gotthard? Is it really more extreme with traffic jams this summer and what are the reasons for this? An evaluation by the traffic information service Viasuisse now shows how many hours of traffic jams actually accumulated over the summer months in front of the southbound gate.

July breaks previous record

If you add up the months of June, July and August, there were a total of 803 traffic jam hours, as reported by Viasuisse at the request of CH Media. The data was recorded from Buochs ​​NW to the tunnel portal. On the northbound route, the traffic information service recorded even more hours.

From Biasca to the Gotthard tunnel, Viasuisse counted 804 traffic jam hours over the three summer months. For comparison: last year there were 717 hours of traffic jams on the southbound route and 682 on the northbound route. Viasuisse emphasizes that accidents, breakdowns, closures and construction sites are already included in the evaluations for both directions.

It was particularly bad in July, when a new record was set with 381 traffic jam hours between Buochs ​​and Gotthard. According to Viasuisse, the 350 hour mark on this route was last exceeded in July 2017.

Upward trend

The traffic jam balance for the summer of 2022 also stands out in a long-term comparison. “If we compare the traffic jams with the last five years, the summer of 2022 is a record summer,” as Michael Krein from Viasuisse writes on request. The trend over the last few years is increasing and pointing in the direction of “record heights”.

This is also illustrated by a graphic created by Viasuisse showing the development of traffic jam hours over the past five years on the Chiasso route in the direction of the Gotthard and Lucerne in the direction of the road tunnel. A slump can only be seen in the first year of the pandemic.

The hours of traffic jams in front of the Gotthard have increased over the last few years, both to the north and to the south.

The hours of traffic jams in front of the Gotthard have increased over the last few years, both to the north and to the south.

Graphic: Viasuisse

Again traffic jams for the autumn holidays

At the beginning of July, the Federal Roads Office (Astra) warned of “long traffic jams and major traffic obstructions” due to holiday travel – especially from Friday to Sunday. The Astra cites “the corona-related pent-up demand for holiday trips” and the “expected problems in air traffic” as reasons. In some cases, chaotic conditions prevailed at Europe’s airports over the summer. Strikes, staff shortages and breakdowns caused delays and cancellations in many places.

Even if the end of the summer holidays is now a few weeks ago, there is still no sign of calming down on the Swiss roads towards the south. The TCS report from Saturday reads like déjà vu:

Accordingly, the Astra also writes on request that “very high traffic volume” can be expected on the north-south axes A2 and A3 by mid-September, especially with regard to return travel. In addition, the Federal Roads Office expects that the autumn holiday season in October should already bring “an increase in traffic volume again”. For drivers who want to travel during this time, it is worth practicing patience in advance.