Mont Blanc, Brenner, Fréjus. Closing these passages hinders our Country’s economy.

The Mont Blanc tunnel will be closed for 9 weeks starting from the 18th of December 2023 due to essential refurbishments. This is the first of a series of closings that will continue every year up to 2040 between Italy and France. These are mandatory operations that can no longer be postponed. Yet, unfortunately, they happen in conjunction with other relevant closings which will have a major impact on the European traffic circulation and negative effects on the Italian economy.

Here is an overview of the current situation: the Mont Blanc’s closing has been postponed awaiting for the Frèjus passage to reopen to heavy vehicles (as the nearby railway tunnel will also remain closed until 2024 as a result of a landslide at Maurienne) thus becoming the only passage for commercial trucks heading to France, ruling out Ventimiglia and other smaller passages which normally shut in Fall and Winter. Moreover, the Gottardo tunnel will keep closing routinely until 2035, causing great issues for transportation to occur between Italy and Switzerland. Traffic flow moves slowly, and the impact it is having over the Piedmont area is very significant, with 1800 trucks/day forced to drive on the Turin bypass.

Steps are being taken to mitigate the inevitable distress that these closings are causing. For instance, limiting construction sites in Valsusa and along the Turin bypass has been helpful, although more is needed to solve the biggest problem: making sure that Italy has access to the main European markets.

A perfect example is the limitation on foreign trucks that Austria imposed over the Brenner passage, which is essential as a path between Italy and Germany. The outcome is that Italy loses competitiveness in the European context.

Furthermore, this causes real stress to the logistics operators who are forced to stop their vehicles for hours or whole days on the highway with no access to facilities providing food and sanitation.

At first sight, this might seem to be an issue affecting a single industry, but in reality, these limitations directly impact the economic well-being of our Country. Taking into account alternative solutions should be everyone’s priority, and we at Lanzi Trasporti believe in the importance of reiterating that the logistics industry needs support. Hindering commercial trade is going to damage the Italian economy, and the Country will keep on losing its ability to be competitive on the international chessboard.