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C 137 E/120 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(10 February 2003)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the reply it gave to Oral Question H-0696/02 by
Mr Collins during question time at Parliament’s October II 02 part-session (1).

The Commission is sending the information requested direct to the Honourable Member and to
Parliament’s Secretariat.

(1) Written answer of 22.10.2002.

(2003/C 137 E/137) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2794/02

by Giacomo Santini (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(4 October 2002)

Subject: Closing of the final section of the Brenner motorway by the Tyrol state government to heavy
vehicles at night

The Governor of the Tyrol has signed an order prohibiting heavy vehicles from travelling at night along
the Wergl Est  Hall section of the A 13 in the Tyrol from 1 October to 31 March. This decision clearly
infringes Community rules, disregards the fundamental principles of free movement of goods and places an
additional dangerous restriction on traffic, which, if it nevertheless travels at night, incurs significantly
higher transit charges.

The step taken by the Tyrol government also flies in the face of basic interinstitutional values, as in the
course of the European Parliament’s hearing of the three Transport Ministers on 10 September 2002,
on the question of ecopoints, no prior warning was given of this decision, which was formally issued the
following day.

Moreover, although it is true that there is no general rule on the subject at European level, it is also true
that in the proposal for a directive on traffic restrictions on Sundays and holidays, Member States are free
to impose specific traffic restrictions at night, but only on noisy vehicles.

In view of the foregoing,

1. What steps does the Commission intend to take to remedy this serious situation, which infringes the
principle of the free movement of goods inside the European Union?

2. What measures has the Commission considered to ensure that such actions are not taken again in

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(8 November 2002)

The Commission is aware of the problem the Honourable Member is referring to regarding the night-time
ban on heavy goods traffic on Austria’s Inntal motorway between Kundl and Ampass.

In the absence of a transparent system of harmonised traffic restriction rules applicable to heavy goods
vehicles engaged in international transport, measures such as that adopted by the President of Tyrol need
to be examined with reference to the general principles of Community law (e.g. non-discrimination,
proportionality), as well as other specific provisions which may be applicable.

The Commission has asked the Austrian authorities to clarify and explain the measure they have adopted.
It will examine the case further in the light of their reply.