For a total of five motorway routes in Austria, there is no toll due since December 15, 2019, thus there is no need to buy a vignette if you only use them. The free routes are the following:
- A1 WestAutobahn (Walserberg border crossing to Salzburg-Nord), State of Salzburg
- A12 Inntal motorway (border crossing from Kiefersfelden to Kufstein-Süd), Tyrol
- A14 (Hörbranz border crossing to Hohenems), Vorarlberg
- A7 (Mühlkreisautobahn, new Danube bridge in Linz – still under construction), Upper Austria
- A26 (Linzer Westring – still under construction), Upper Austria
Tourists who want to travel to Salzburg or Kufstein or from there to Kitzbühel can be particularly happy. Because the fees on the A1, A12 and A14 no longer apply, you can now get to your destination toll-free. Even those who travel to Switzerland via Lindau on Lake Constance have not had to pay anything. By eliminating and relocating toll bypass traffic back to the freeway, pollutant emissions can be reduced, road safety increased and high fines avoided. Above all, the initiative hopes that alternate traffic on country roads and small towns is reduced thus improving the safety and well-being of those communities.
Toll exemption meets resistance
However, some municipalities in Vorarlberg fear that the exemption from the toll could put more traffic on them. Some of them (Hohenems, Altach, Götzis, Dornbirn, Lustenau and Diepoldsau) have therefore announced that they will go to the constitutional court in Vienna. Dieter Egger, Mayor of Hohenems, said in a press release: “The toll exemption between Hohenems and Hörbranz does not solve a traffic problem, but only shifts it from one municipality to another. The problem is simply shifted to the Hohenems-Diepoldsau departure node, which is already groaning under the traffic load. ”He also called the decision” emissions-increasing and climate-damaging“.
Egger is outraged: “This is literally a region with 100,000 residents!” Even in the Ministry of Transport itself, the development is viewed critically, as a spokeswoman said: “We expect to lose 28 million euros a year.” This money would normally be used by the Autobahn and Schnellstraßen-Finanz-Aktiengesellschaft (ASFINAG), a subsidiary of the ministry, to build and renovate roads and tunnels. In addition, there are now fears of follow-up applications from other communities.