Bild: Bildmontage / Wikimedia: © Mattes
Bild: Bildmontage / Wikimedia: © Mattes
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Local News Summary of January, 13th

  • 25-year-old man robbed at knifepoint near Webergasse 
  • Ready-made salads declared deficient
  • Successful tram extensions to Weil and Saint Louis: Does Lörrach want our No. 6?

25-year-old man robbed at knifepoint near Webergasse 

The police are looking for witnesses after a 25-year-old man was robbed at Untere Rebgasse near Webergasse in the early hours of Thursday morning.

According to early investigations by the criminal police, the 25-year-old was walking in Untere Rebgasse at around 2.30am when he was approached by two unknown men who threatened him and demanded cash and his mobile phone. After the robbery they ran off. The victim reported the robbery in the afternoon.

The police are looking for an unknown man, between 170-180cm, with black skin, stubble, of athletic build with an upright posture. The man spoke English in a nervous voice. At the time, he was wearing a woollen hat and a black jacket. The second man was between 160-170cm tall, with black skin, upright posture and also wore a black woollen hat. Anyone with information about either of these men is asked to contact the criminal police of the prosecution Basel-Stadt on the phone number 061 267 71 11 or go to the nearest police station.

Ready-made salads declared deficient

Staff at the cantonal lab in Basel-Stadt recently inspected the composition of ready-made salads according to their labelling and found that 5 out of 24 samples were insufficient.

The ready-made salads, pasta salads, potato salads, and mixed-leaf salads from four different shops in Basel-Stadt were tested. Most of the ingredients in the salads had been grown in Switzerland.

Five products were withdrawn from sale or referred to the cantonal office responsible because of deficient declarations on ingredient listings. The deficiencies included a lack of emphasis on allergies, deficient declaration of nutritional values, composition lists which did not correspond to the real ingredients, salads which lacked sell-by dates, and ones with unreadable declarations.

All examined allergies and traces of gluten were either not detected in all salads, or only in small amounts. Others were only referred to as a composing element or possible contamination. In three products, garlic could be found when it had not been declared on the packaging. As garlic and onions do not belong to the allergens which have to be declared compulsory, such ingredients are mostly declared as «spices» or «vegetables», which cannot be objected to. Nevertheless, the producers were informed because it is custom to declare such ingredients separately.

As the quota of objections reached 20 per cent, ready-made salads will be inspected again, according to the cantonal laboratory.

Successful tram extensions to Weil and Saint Louis: Does Lörrach want our No. 6?

It would make sense to extend tramline No. 6 to Lörrach since it would ease the traffic jams on the roads from Riehen and Lörrach to Basel. This is the result of a feasibility study conducted by our neighbours.

They say that all good things come in threes. But is that really true? Following the extensions to line 8 to Weil am Rhein, and line 3 to Saint Louis, line 6 to Lörrach would be the next possible option for expansion. Also in historical terms this would make sense. 

From 1919 to 1967 the trams circulated on the traditional, still-used line from Allschwil via Barfüsserplatz and Claraplatz to the main station of the biggest of our three neighbouring towns, Lörrach. In those days, the town council officially rented the carriages from the Basel Verkehrsbetriebe and operated them on the German side. The passengers were not even aware of that. The reason for closing this line at the end of the 1960s was because the city council of Lörrach wanted to give more space to car traffic. Unlike today, in those days public transport was not prioritised. 

Line 6 to Lörrach would disburden Riehen significantly

After the successful extensions of lines 8 and 3, the extension of line 6 would be perfectly realistic, especially because Lörrach - with its 48,158 inhabitants - is an important neighbour of Basel. Around 5000 people also commute every day from Lörrach to Switzerland. The extension of the tramline would ease the burden on Baslerstrasse in Riehen, which is known for heavy traffic and frequent traffic jams. 

On the German side, there are calls demanding the re-introduction of the tram. «It must be a sore point that Basel opposed this trend successfully and kept its tram network even in the 1960s and 1970s when it was fashionable to get rid of tramlines,» said Natali Fessmann, spokesperson of the interest group Verkehr Lörrach (IG Verkehr Lörrach).

«Welcomed in principle» in Basel but Germany should go ahead

The Basel Department for Construction and Traffic keeps quite in the discussion. «Any extension of tramline 6 through Lörrach is within the responsibility of our German neighbouring town,» according to Nicole Stocker, deputy communication manager at the department.

«Currently, Basel-Stadt is not involved. We know about such ideas and welcome in principle that border-crossing public traffic is still an important topic among our neighbours abroad.» The public transport company BVB is also keeping quiet. «We welcome everything which increases the attraction of public transport,» Benjamin Schmid, media spokesperson at BVB, said.

Lörrach wants to but there is no money

For the IG Verkehr Lörrach, which commissioned the feasibility study, the extension of tramline 6 is an important topic. The study is based on a new tramline in the west of Lörrach leading away from the pedestrian zone along the canal up to the Haagen-Messe train station.

 «There is enough space to establish a mobility hub, together with the S-Bahn line 6, direct access to the motorway, and a spacious park and ride-system», said Natali Fessmann. «This track lay-out would require comparably few construction work but its use would bring big advantages.» However, only her government can make a decision. The study examined neither economic efficiency nor operating costs. This is the most important argument for the reluctant reaction by the government of Lörrach.

The Lord Mayor of Lörrach, Jörg Lutz, told the Badische Zeitung in August that an extension would cost up to 200 million Euros. Compared to the costs in Weil and Saint Louis, this is not a shocking amount. Since Switzerland would not take part in the project he called for an end to the discussions. Mr Lutz said the costs were «too high» and blamed the government in Basel for this. But political pressure is rising. «We will see how the situation will change after Mayor Michael Wilke will resign at the end of May,» said Natali Fessmann. Michael Wilke was also the manager of Dezernat II, which is also responsible for roads and traffic.

However, the IG Verkehr group will not give up. Natali Fessmann argued that in the entire border-area between Lörrach und Riehen, car traffic would be reduced with the extension, which would mean blocked roads in both towns could be eased. While Basel is still quiet despite the success of the new border-crossing tramlines, Lörrach apparently fears the costs. And since the million-Euros-fuss in Saint Louis, the government in Basel - with Mr Wessels in charge of construction and traffic - would not open the treasure box once again. Everybody knows that line 6 would be important, but a number 6 in the lottery would make the discussions easier.