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Thursday, 20 August 2015


Geneva is the starting point for many visitors to the Tarentaise.  If you hire a car on the French side of the airport, you have the exciting opportunity to travel from Switzerland to France (on foot), go back to Switzerland in the car, and then rejoin France again at the Bardonnex border crossing.

All this cross-border movement is very much a feature of daily life for the 150,000 French workers who cross the border every day.  A new Ipsos poll, L'Observatoire des Frontaliers 2015, sets the scene.

The number of frontaliers has risen by 60% overt the last 10 years (and the number coming from the Savoie departments is up 78%).

The poll shows that the relationship with la Suisse is more than simply transactional:

  • Three in four feel integrated socially and 66% "have a social life" in France outside work
  • And 57% have been working in Switzerland for more than 10 years

All of this is causing more than a little pressure on the frontier.  The Bardonnex crossing has a capacity of some 3,600 an hour, which is woefully unable to cope at peak times. Plans are afoot to alleviate the situation at least to some extent, with the recent announcement that cars will be allowed to use one of the lanes currently reserved for lorries.  Looking further ahead, there are vague plans to look at other possibilities, for example a car sharing lane.  But this would involve a complete reorganisation of the set-up and the Tribune de Geneve points out that it's not that big a priority.

A French flag on a Swiss lake with a French
mountain (Mont Revard) in the background

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