Germany Angered as Austria Moves to Restrict Access to Country Roads
By Staff, Agencies
Germany's state of Bavaria and Austria have found themselves at odds about the cross-border transportation issue. Earlier, Vienna condemned Berlin's proposal to implement tolls on German highways, a EU court ruled that the measure was discriminatory against non-residents.
Austria's province of Tyrol announced on Thursday its intention to close major highway exits in and around the city of Innsbruck in a bid to prevent motorists from circumventing the toll motorway by using country roads.
According to Tyrolean provincial governor Gunther Platter, the ban will take effect this weekend and will end in mid-September. He noted that the new regulations will specifically be applied to the weekends.
The authorities are planning to dispatch police officers to patrol the highways and also delete alternative routes off navigational systems as part of the implementation of the ban.
The officials are hoping to relieve the traffic burden faced by towns and communities along the highways.
The move was met with indignation by Bavarian authorities as the ban would negatively affect Germany's cross-country travelers. The region's Transport Minister Hans Reichhart condemned the move, saying that Tyrol's decision was 'unspeakable' and 'pure harassment'.
Cross-border transportation has become a sticking issue between Germany and Austria following Berlin's proposal to install tolls on German highways that put non-residents at a disadvantage. The EU Court of Justice effectively turned down the proposals.