Swiss citizens vote for new 3 billion Swiss Francs roads and road infrastructure fund
In a referendum on 12 February 2017, a clear majority of Swiss citizens voted in favour of setting up a national road and traffic agglomeration fund (Nationalstraßen- und Agglomerationsverkehrsfonds, NAF) for financing the nation’s road infrastructure. With the creation of NAF, the course has been set for regular, constitutionally-binding investments earmarked for maintaining and expanding national roads and streets in metropolitan areas.
The 3 billion Swiss francs fund will be made available every year and will primarily be financed with revenues generated through fuel tax; the sale of motorway permit stickers; a special tax for e-cars and vehicles with alternative drive technologies, due to come into effect by 2020; and a compensation fee to be paid by the cantons. All this will result in a significantly greater fund for road infrastructure than was available through the expiring infrastructure fund. In addition, in the initial phase due to run until 2030, the state will invest roughly 6.5 billion francs into traffic projects.
Eurobitume sees this as an important step towards greater security of investment and planning certainty for everyone involved: “The broad approval is not just a positive sign for the Swiss economy, but also indicates a social change. The citizens are aware that traffic infrastructure is an essential asset. Their decision is a clear vote for long-term investments and a quick elimination of bottlenecks within our road network,” says Eurobitume Switzerland Manager Heinz Rusch.