Transalpine Freight Traffic’s Impact On People’s Quality Of Life
Free (open access)
D. Hauri & N. Bauer
Within an overland transport agreement between Switzerland and the European Union, Switzerland has accepted the gradual increase in HGV axle weight limits from 28 to 40 tons. Thus, people’s quality of life is influenced in the affected regions, as they are very much exposed to the pollution with noise and harmful substances. Hence, it is assumed that people move to less affected areas and accept longer journeys to their workplaces; on the other hand, the transalpine freight traffic might create new jobs in the affected municipalities. Thus, research on the transalpine freight traffic’s impact on people and environment is carried out at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. The objective is to verify the previously formulated hypotheses. However, the analysis of demographic data showed for one municipality that people moved away from there because of lack of building land and because of the municipality’s location in a narrow shadowy valley. These persons accepted longer journeys to their workplaces, profiting from an improved supply of public transportation and increased mobility. Nonetheless, although the transalpine freight traffic created workplaces for this municipality, it can only partially explain why people commuted there. For another municipality, in spite of transalpine freight traffic increase, people moved there as they profited from the good attainability of larger cities, low taxes, the availability of building land and because the transalpine freight traffic’s noise was responsible for lower land prices. Analyses of socioeconomic data for further municipalities will be necessary and quantitative interviews will complete and thus confirm or modify the present results. The interviews shall be repeated regularly in order to evaluate the changes in quality of life in the affected municipalities. Keywords: transalpine freight traffic, land prices, demographic data, economic data, mortgage interest rates, expert interviews.
transalpine freight traffic, land prices, demographic data, economic data, mortgage interest rates, expert interviews.