Protest against Großglockner toll for bike riders successful
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Protest against Großglockner toll for bike riders successful

by Bjorn Haake at 3:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: General, Advocacy
Efforts to five-euro fee canned after thousands protest online

gaviaThe protest against the planned five-euro fee for riding a bicycle up the Großglockner pass in the Austrian Alps was successful. In just a few days over 2000 signatures had been gathered by people quite angry about the toll fee. The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße AG (Grohag) has reversed its decision to charge bicyclists.

When Grohag reversed its decision 2,297 signatures had been gathered, with most coming from Austria. But residents from neighboring countries like Germany and Switzerland had also expressed their displeasure with the fee. Many had said they will vacation elsewhere and use passes in Italy or France instead. This made an impression with Grohag and most likely with all the businesses living on tourism in the region.

Around 20,000 people ride their bikes up the Großglockner each year. This would have given 100,000 to Grohag. The fee was disguised as a security fee, but Grohag made it clear on the website that it wanted to get bicyclists out of the way. The fee was supposed to be charged between 9 in the morning to three in the afternoon, to give the road mostly to motorists.

The mandatory five-euro fee has been replaced with a voluntary one-euro fee that provides an accident insurance. Cyclists are still urged to stay out of the way of motorists. "We recommend that cyclists use the non-peak hours," the website bluntly states. At least now cyclists won't have to financially support efforts to minimize cycling traffic.

The Giro d'Italia will visit the mountain for the second time in history this year, four decades after its 1971 debut.


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