Germany: changes in the HGV ban during the holiday season
Given recent changes in traffic volumes and the condition of some motorways and federal roads, the Federal Council has adopted the 13th amendment to the holiday travel ordinance.
The regulation introduces a driving ban for all vehicles with a GVW of more than 7.5 tons, used for commercial transport of goods, including empty runs, that applies on Saturdays from July 1 to August 31 between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM., on selected sections of motorways and federal roads. The purpose of the ban is to make it easier for holiday travellers to reach their vacation destinations during the two months of the holiday season.
❗ To keep up with changing traffic volumes and the infrastructural development of the network of motorways and federal roads, the list of sections affected by the ban has been extended.
⭕ The A 4 motorway is the most important connecting route for holiday travel between south-west Germany or the Rhine-Main area and east Germany. In the area between the Kirchheim triangle and the Thuringia state border near Herleshausen, the motorway consists of four lanes. Up to 40,000 motor vehicles drive along the motorway every 24 hours, with HGV traffic accounting for 20-25 per cenr. There are sections with gradients of well over 4% (sometimes up to 6.5%). During the holiday season, the traffic volume can increase by 20-40 per cent. In addition, large parts of the route do not have a hard shoulder. Finally, as a result of expansion works, which are due to continue for several more years, there are frequent tailbacks with traffic moving at speeds below 60 kph, especially in the summer months.
⭕ The 5 motrway between the Homberg junction (Ohm) and Hattenbacher triangle has only four lanes. It is the most important connecting route for holiday travel between south-west Germany and the Rhine-Main area and north and east Germany. Well over 50,000 motor vehicles travel along the motorway every 24 hours and HGV traffic accounts for 18.5-20%. The motorway includes sections with a gradients of over 4-7%. During the holiday season, traffic valume on Saturdays can rise by 30-50 percent. The A 5 section from the Homberg junction (Ohm) to Bad Homburger Kreuz interchange is already listed in the Holiday Travel Ordinance. The new section has been added to close existing gaps. During the holiday seasons, there are frequent tailbacks with traffic moving at speeds below 60 kph. Lorries can use alternative routes along B49 and B62.
⭕ Once the expansion of the A 10 (including A 24) is complete, it is expected that the section of the A 10 from the Kreuz Oranienburg via the Pankow triangle to the Barnim triangle will have sufficient capacity to accommodate holiday traffic, as well as HGV traffic (especially vehicles with a GVW of more than 7, 5 tons) without bottlenecks. However, as a result of a significant number of commercial settlements around the motorway, it is necessary to relieve the increased traffic volume in the subordinate road network, particularly associated with commercial vehicles passing residential areas.