Block on Austrian heavy lorry ban extended

European court says traffic curbs may be justified but forces Austria to agree measures with neighbours

Heavy lorry traffic will continue to cross the Inn valley leading to the Alpine Brenner pass until at least 30 April 2004, after the European court of justice confirmed a block on an Austrian ban, which had been due to take effect in July (EED 31/07/03).

Environmental and health concerns over high air pollution in the area should in principle "take precedence over economic considerations", the European judges said on 2 October. However, they concluded that the "structural measures" needed to find a solution must be decided by Austria in cooperation with neighbouring Alpine countries Germany and Italy.

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