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Resurgence of fuel tourism in the Grand Duchy
Transport

Resurgence of fuel tourism in the Grand Duchy

2 min. 21.02.2022 From our online archive
Representatives of towns along the German border say increasing numbers of lorries are clogging up roads, attracted by cheaper fuel
After a sharp drop in traffic due to the pandemic, lorries in search of cheaper fuel prices are once again clogging up border towns in Luxembourg
After a sharp drop in traffic due to the pandemic, lorries in search of cheaper fuel prices are once again clogging up border towns in Luxembourg
Photo credit: Gerry Huberty

By John Monaghan and Irina Figut

The relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions has led to a resurgence in fuel tourism in Luxembourg, the mayors of two border towns have said, with lorries deviating from an agreed route to benefit from lower fuel prices. 

Lower taxes in the Grand Duchy mean that despite rising inflation, prices of fuel, as well as personal items such as alcohol and cigarettes, remain cheaper than in the neighbouring countries of Germany, France and Belgium

The subject has been raised in recent weeks in two parliamentary questions, one of which was submitted by the mayor of Grevenmacher, which sits on the German border, and who is also a parliamentarian

The number of lorries leaving the motorway and deviating from their agreed route to shop in Luxembourg has been “increasing sharply”, said Léon Gloden, the mayor, and a deputy for the Christian Democrats.

“One place in the country where this development can be seen is the Mertert / Wasserbillig exit on the A1 motorway in direction of Trier,” said Gloden.

“For those concerned localities (this) means that pollution, traffic and the associated dangers increase, and at the same time, the quality of life of our citizens is declining,” added the mayor of Grevenmacher.

The commune of Mertert has sent a letter to Transport Minister François Bausch and Internal Security Minister Henri Kox, to raise its concerns and call for greater controls and preventive measures to stop the influx of traffic.

“At the beginning of the corona pandemic, border traffic had fallen sharply here," Wasserbillig Mayor Jérôme Laurent told The Luxemburger Wort. “Now it’s picking up again.” The issue has been ongoing for a long time, said Laurent.

Often above the permitted limits in the years before the pandemic, the levels of nitrogen dioxide – which heavy goods lorries significantly add to - fell sharply in 2020 as lockdown measures forced people off the road.

The commune has now decided to introduce preventive measures, such as a parking ban on trucks in the area behind petrol stations.

There are no official figures on the number of lorries using the exit at Mertert/Wasserbillig, Luxembourg’s road construction administration said. However, the country’s traffic police said that that both general and targeted traffic controls are carried out, and that violations are subject to a fine of €250.


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