The Alps lie at the heart of Europe and are crossed by many major international transport corridors. This includes road corridors that are used by more than 10 million heavy goods vehicles, millions of tourists and the Alpine people themselves every year. Due to the specific topography of valleys, the environmental and health impacts of transport are higher in mountain areas than elsewhere. Therefore, a major objective of the Alpine Convention is to promote more sustainable means of transport. In particular, freight and passenger traffic must transition from road to rail. The construction of further motorways or similar large capacity roads for trans-Alpine transport should be avoided, and economic well-being must be decoupled from growing traffic.
In article 2, paragraph 2(j) of the Framework Convention, the Contracting Parties commit to taking measures "to reduce the volume and dangers of inter-Alpine and trans-Alpine traffic to a level which is not harmful to humans, animals and plants and their habitats, by switching more traffic, in particular freight traffic, to the railways in particular by providing appropriate infrastructure and incentives complying with market principles without discrimination on grounds of nationality".