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Switzerland - By Road
For northern England, overnight crossings from Hull to Zeebrugge (Belgium) or Rotterdam (Netherlands) offer access points to the continent, with ferries from Newcastle serving Amsterdam (Netherlands). From Scotland it is possible to sail to Zeebrugge, a journey taking 20 hours.
The total travel time by car from London to Zurich, via Calais, could be estimated at 12 hours. This would however be need to be extended to allow for time required for connections and for rest stops along the way.
From north west Europe (e.g. Amsterdam), the travel route to Switzerland involves taking the Autobahns (motorways) 3 and 5 down through Germany, entering Switzerland via Basel. An alternative route goes via Brussels in Belgium and then south east on the E411 to Luxembourg, continuing in the direction of Strasbourg on the A4, and from there crossing into Germany and heading due south on the Autobahn 5, again crossing at Basel. This is Switzerland's busiest border crossing. The Geneva border crossing is popular with those entering via France. Both borders can be congested at peak commuter times with residents of France and Germany coming in daily to work in the Swiss cities.
In 2008 Switzerland joined the Schengen Agreement, putting an end to cross-border passport checks. The borders remain guarded, however, and checks are made for illegal items. It will also be necessary to purchase the motorway tax sticker known as the Vignette at the border if you do not already have one. You will be heavily fined if caught driving on Swiss motorways without displaying this clearly on the windscreen.
Cross-Channel Ferry Transport (UK to Calais, Zeebrugge and Rotterdam)
Address: Channel House, Channel View Road, Dover, CT17 9TJ, UK
Tel: 08716 64 21 21 (international: +44 1304 863000 and then option 1)
Switzerland Travel Centre
For pre-purchase of Motorway Vignette for driving in Switzerland
Address: 30 Bedford Street, 1st Floor, London WC2E 9ED, UK
Tel: 0207 420 49 34
AA (Automobile Association)
For route planning across Europe
Tel: +44 161 333 0004 (international)
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