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What is Austria’s ‘traffic calendar’ and how can it help me save time?

Whether you commute every day or simply plan on taking a road trip in Austria, the traffic calendar is a handy tool to know when and where delays could interrupt a journey.

What is Austria’s ‘traffic calendar’ and how can it help me save time?
This weekend is to be a busy one on Austrian roads with the F1 race in Spielberg and the start of the school summer holidays. Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

We’ve all been there – stuck in traffic while trying to go on holiday, get to work or visit family.

It’s frustrating and time consuming, but there is a way to avoid it – or at least try to – by using the traffic calendar from the ÖAMTC.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is ÖAMTC?

The Austrian Automobile, Motorcycle and Touring Club (ÖAMTC) is a traffic club and non-profit association with the aim to support and represent drivers and cyclists in Austria.

The club was established in 1946 and was a founding member of ARC Europe, which offers members pan-European roadside assistance. 

ÖAMTC has 2.3 million members and annual membership fees start at €9.95 for a bike and up to €44.15 for a car.

READ MORE: How to explore the Austrian mountains in the summer like a local

What is the traffic calendar?

The ÖAMTC traffic calendar (Staukalender, in German) is exactly how it sounds – it’s a calendar displaying important dates where travellers could be impacted by congestion on the roads.

Every year Barbara Kner from ÖAMTC Mobility Information collects details about public holidays, planned construction work, border controls and events.

The ÖAMTC then uses this information to create the calendar and traffic volume forecasts to help motorists better plan their trips.

How do I use the calendar?

The traffic calendar is very easy to use.

Simply click the link and then move through the calendar pages on a month-by-month basis. 

The main events and planned construction projects are already in the calendar, so you can see where you might come across traffic on your journey and make any necessary changes to an itinerary.

You can also click on a specific date to be redirected to the ÖAMTC route planner for further details about traffic, parking spots and nearby petrol stations along a route.

Both the traffic calendar and the route planner are available on desktop or via the ÖAMTC app.

READ MORE: How to save money on fuel costs in Austria

Key dates in the traffic calendar for 2022

Here are some key dates from the traffic calendar for summer 2022 and into the autumn.

Pentecost Sunday (also known as Whit Sunday) – June 5th

This Christian holiday falls two weeks later than usual in 2022 and the ÖAMTC is expecting high levels of traffic on roads between Austria, Italy and the Baltic Peninsula – both before the weekend and on Monday June 6th as people return home.

Barbara Kner from the ÖAMTC said: “Experience has shown that a later Whit Sunday increases the volume of traffic in the direction of the Adriatic.”

School summer holidays – July to September

In 2022, the beginning of the school summer holidays will be staggered over the first two weekends in July, with regions in the east of Austria starting on July 2nd and the west on July 9th.

The ÖAMTC warns that the second weekend in July typically sees higher levels of traffic on roads in Austria, followed by the start of the Bavarian travel season on August 1st.

The last northbound wave of returning holidaymakers is expected on the main transit routes across Austria during the second weekend in September.

READ MORE: Which countries in Europe have the strictest drink driving limits? 

Planned construction

Every year, major construction works are planned during the summer months and 2022 is no different.

This year, construction work is due to take place on the Ofenauer and Hiefler tunnels on the A10 in the province of Salzburg from September. 

Construction work on a chain of tunnels in Werfen (Zetzenberg, Helbersberg, Brentenberg) will also take place at the same time. The projects are scheduled to run until 2025 with breaks for summer traffic.

As a result, motorists should expect to hit traffic before entering the tunnels while work is ongoing.

Festivals and events

The Nova Rock Festival takes place from June 9th to 12th near Nickelsdorf in Burgenland.

Electric Love takes place at the Salzburgring just outside of Salzburg from July 7th to 9th.

Frequency Festival is on from August 18th to 20th in St. Pölten in Lower Austria.

All three festivals are expected to create high levels of traffic, both on the way to the venue and afterwards.

As a precautionary measure, the ÖAMTC breakdown service will set up its own base at the site of these festivals or within the local area to provide assistance to motorists.

Other important events include the F1 GP race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Styria, on July 10th, followed by the MotoGP on August 21st. This means delays are likely on the Murtal Expressway (S36) during both events.

Likewise, the F1 GP race in Hungary on July 31st is expected to cause traffic jams at the Austrian/Hungarian border in Nickelsdorf on the A4.

From 2nd to 3rd September, Airpower – the annual aircraft event with performances from the Red Bull Skydiving team and the Austrian Armed Forces – will take place in Zeltweg in Styria. Motorists could encounter traffic on the S36 during this time.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austria's railways are set to grind to a halt on Monday due to failed negotiations between unions and rail operators, the country's railway system (ÖBB) said on Sunday.

Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austrian railway workers will hold a one-day strike on Monday after another round of negotiations between unions and railway representatives failed.

The fifth round of negotiations over pay rises for 50,000 employees from 65 different railway operators, including the main national operator ÖBB, had failed to come to a resolution.

Vida, the trade union that represents the workers, has asked for a wage increase of €400 – an average increase of around 12 percent.

In response, Austria’s Chamber of Commerce offered an increase of a 8 percent.

With walkouts set to go ahead, there will be no regional, long-distance or night trains on Monday.

“After more than twelve hours of intensive talks, the [two sides] unfortunately did not manage to come to an agreement,” the ÖBB said in a statement.

Cross-border traffic and night travel could be affected, and the ÖBB also warned of “individual train cancellations” on Sunday evening and even on Tuesday.

Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB, said in a statement: “I cannot understand this strike at all. With an offer of 8.44 percent, the ÖBB has made the highest offer of any sector.”

“This is clearly a malicious strike on the part of the union,” he added.

Vida union negotiator Gerhard Tauchner said that they “are fighting for a sustainable cost of living adjustment… which will give relief to those with lower and middle incomes in particular in the face of skyrocketing prices.”

Austria’s year-on-year inflation rate hit 11 percent in October. 

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