As a gateway between north and south and a link between two cultures, the Tyrol has always attracted traffic along its transit routes. The fact that the Brenner is the lowest Alpine crossing in the Austrian Central Alps makes it the busiest link between Austria and Italy. With the Brenner Motorway and the other transit routes, the Tyrol is strongly affected by today's volume of traffic in transit.
Transport: Webcams (in German)
The regional authority is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the non-primary road network. Regular inspections are performed to guarantee the safety of bridges and tunnels, and avalanche protection structures are built for the critical sections of many mountain roads. Together with retention dams and reforestation measures for steep slopes, such structures make for a safe road system that is open to traffic throughout the year. In such a mountainous region, bridge building naturally has a long tradition, and the Public Works Department (Landesbaudirektion) is responsible for some 2,000 bridges. The Tyrolean authority has installed a region-wide traffic census system (in German) on its 2,200 km of roads. The data are transmitted to a central traffic database, where they are checked and analysed prior to publication.
The Tyrol has a very good public transport network. Twenty-eight bus companies are organised in a regional ticketing and fare network - Externer Link Verkehrsverbund Tirol (in German) - as a commercial operation owned by the regional authority. Together with over 200 local train services, that makes the Tyrolean public transport system the most modern in Austria. The Tyroleans are accordingly among the country's most frequent public transport users.
Brenner Base Tunnel
Construction of the Externer Link Brenner Base Tunnel as a modern rail link between Austria and Italy is an extremely important bilateral project designed to achieve a shift in traffic from road to rail. That would relieve the burden of traffic to which the Tyrol is currently exposed. The Brenner corridor is part of the Transeuropean Berlin–Palermo axis and is accordingly eligible for co-financing from the EU. The Lower Inn Valley and the Brenner are part of an EU Transeuropean priority network for road and rail transport.
Traffic is one of the biggest sources of air pollution. The temperature inversion conditions that are typical of the Alps restrict vertical air movements, while the narrow valleys have a limited area and reflect the sound waves. All that makes them highly sensitive to pollutant loads, noise emissions and impacts on the natural and cultural landscape. The Tyrolean regional authority is accordingly committed to containing the volume of traffic and developing further environmental protection measures.
Click here for further information on the subject of transport, support programmes and the relevant departments at the Office of the Tyrolean Regional Government (in German).