Swiss highways overloaded with Easter traffic

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School holiday dates overlap in several European countries this Easter. Many holiday makers try to head south at this time of year where the weather is starting to feel summery. Those who can depart early have an edge on those leaving on Friday. At least they hoped they would.

According to the Swiss federal Roads office (FEDRO), long queues are expected at the northern end of the Gotthard tunnel. FEDRO warned of waits of up to one hour for those leaving on Wednesday and waits of two hours or more for those departing on Thursday or Friday.

According to 20 Minutes, Swiss Rail has added an extra 46,000 seats during peak travel periods. The extra seats are provided by adding extra carriages and trains. An extra 28 trains will run, 25 of them bound for Italy.

The main routes through the Bernese Oberland, Graubunden and Valais are also expected to be busy. FEDRO warns that waiting times at customs borders at Spiez, Gampel, Brunnen, Rarogne, and Bellinzone, could be longer than normal.

The crunch periods for return traffic are expected to fall on Easter Monday (17 April) and the weekend after (22-23 April). Traffic at the Airolo end of the Gotthard tunnel could stretch for tens of kilometres. Drivers are advised to start their trip home before midday. Traffic is not expected to dissipate until late in the night on Easter Monday.