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Old 09.07.2010, 11:58
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Driving to Locarno

I was thinking of driving from Zug to Locarno next week but have been told that there is a tunnel "somewhere" on the way that is know to be very congested and you can be stuck in the tunnel for an hour sometimes.

Does anyone know if this is true? Where the said tunnel is?

I'd rather drive than take the train to be honest.

Any info will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:06
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Re: Driving to Locarno

The San Gottardo tunnel - 17 km long and the quickest N/S route between Ticino and the rest of Switzerland. Lots of summer traffic but you never know. You could take the San Gottardo pass instead if you wanted a scenic drive and little traffic.
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:10
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Re: Driving to Locarno

Kev, its the San Gottardo tunnel. I hit roadworks resulting in a massive jam when I was on my way to Milan and that was 9am in the morning.

Not a pleasant experience being stuck in the tunnel itself but just turn up the volume of the music in the car, sing loudly and do a little dance. You'll be surprised how time flies.

I've also been lucky rnough not to experience any traffic the other times I've used it down to Foxtown.
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:20
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Re: Driving to Locarno

Was just checking on some maps and found the Gotthard Tunnel. Quite impressive.

Just looked at the pass. Thanks

It looks like I can turn off and join the pass just after the Naxberg Tunnel ant the Gotthard Tunnel entrance...I think.
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:50
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Re: Driving to Locarno

Hi Kev,

Avoid driving to Locarno today. It's the worst weekend of the year for driving south as several school holidays start today in Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands. If you really need to go there, then it's best to go through San Bernardino.
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Old 09.07.2010, 14:11
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Re: Driving to Locarno

Yes, the pass exit is right before/after the tunnel on both sides. that is if traffic isn't so backed up that you can't even get to the turn off. the problem is it is the route to Italy for a lot of people going on holiday. i would check a traffic website before you go and make a decision on pass vs. tunnel at that time. although the pass so so scenic and is an experience to be done at least once. we've waited several hours in traffic just to reach the entrance to the tunnel before. the fumes in the tunnel are also very unpleasant even with the air on.
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Old 09.07.2010, 14:47
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Re: Driving to Locarno

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Hi Kev,

Avoid driving to Locarno today. It's the worst weekend of the year for driving south as several school holidays start today in Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands. If you really need to go there, then it's best to go through San Bernardino.
I'm going next Wednesday
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Old 09.07.2010, 15:33
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Re: Driving to Locarno

I would always recommend going over the top unless its between 11pm and 5am, even then there can be congestion in the summer. The turn off directly before the tunnel is signposted Andermatt, be careful you don't miss it as the exit lane starts in a previous tunnel. An alternative is get off the motorway a little earlier signed for Wassen, then just follow the road parallel to the motorway following the signs for Gotthard Pass/Andermatt/Airolo. On a clear day the views on the Ticino side down the valley are pretty amazing.
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Old 09.07.2010, 16:26
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Re: Driving to Locarno

The direct route, through the Gottard, is about 180 km and theoretically only 2 hours. To that you can add between 2 and 4 hours for traffic at this time of year - there's a fixed capacity for the tunnel and tailbacks can be huge.

Via San Bernardino is about 250 km in distance and about 3 hours for straight drive time - but you'll be unlucky to have any serious traffic problems on that route.

Same problem when coming back from South to North.

As previously noted, the only times when the Gottard tunnel is clear at this time of year are late evening until early morning.

The pass is a beautiful route too - as long as you don;t get stuck in the traffic on the motorway before you get to the exit. tailbacks are many kilometres long....
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