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The Sunniberg bridge in Canton Graubünden (in new window)

The Sunniberg bridge, designed by Christian Menn, is part of the Klosters bypass in Canton Graubünden. It was opened in 2005.©

Bus near Grindelwald (in new window)

Bus near Grindelwald© Grindelwald Tourism

The country is covered with a dense road network, although the topography makes this difficult. The mountains and gorges have to be negotiated and bridges and tunnels must be built. A lot of money is invested in road construction and a high standard of maintenance.

In 2011 Switzerland had 1,799 km (1118 miles) of motorway, the equivalent of just over 43,3 km per 1000 km2 (69 miles per 1000 square miles). The densest network in Europe is in the Netherlands, with 57.5 km. (92.5 miles per 1000 square miles)

Car ownership is increasing: in 2006 for every 1000 people there were 516 passenger cars, well above the European average. (This compares with over 800 in the US.) Figures issued in 2006 showed that private cars account for two thirds of passenger kilometers.

Car driving does not necessarily mean car ownership. The Mobility car cooperative, launched in 1997, has proved very popular: it owns cars of different sizes in all cities, and members can book one when they need it. The scheme has been more successful in Switzerland than in any other country.

But the Swiss can get around even without driving a car. The famous Swiss post buses are an important part of the public transport system, with a network of 10,429 km (6,481 miles). Private bus companies add another 5,200 km (3,200 miles). Buses tie in with train arrivals and departures, and serve remote villages, even though they sometimes carry only one passenger.

In 2003 the total length of the urban public transport network was 1,848 km (1,148 miles).

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