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Voters to decide on second Gotthard road tunnel

Opponents of plans to build a second road tunnel through the Gotthard in central Switzerland - a major transalpine thoroughfare in Europe - have gathered enough signatures from the public to force a referendum on the issue. Parliament had approved the estimated CHF2.7 billion ($2.8 billion) project to build a second tunnel and renovate the existing one in September. Supporters, mainly the centre-right and right of the political spectrum, had argued that the move was in the interest of road safety, was economically and environmentally sustainable, and a sign of solidarity to the Gotthard region. But those against were worried that the second route would lead to additional traffic and environmental problems, be too costly to build and breach a constitutional amendment to put transalpine road traffic onto rail. Afterwards environmental groups, including the Alpine Initiative and the Swiss branches of the WWF and Greenpeace, pledged to challenge the parliamentary ... Show more

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