An illustration of the future Aeschengraben.
An illustration of the future Aeschengraben.
  • barfi / hc / dl
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Local News Summary of December, 2nd

  • Expansion works for pedestrian and cyclist lanes in Aeschengraben
  • Special prosecutor investigates Basel’s company car affair
  • Roche increases payrolls in Switzerland again by 0.9 per cent

Expansion works for pedestrian and cyclist lanes in Aeschengraben

As of January 2017, the Road and Civil Construction Office, the Basel Transport Services (BVB), and the Industrial Works of Basel (IWB) will start with the renovation of subterranean power lines, pavement and street surfaces, as well as the entire tram track system in Aeschengraben. During these road works, the right side of Aeschengraben coming from the Swiss and French Railway Station (Bahnhof SBB) will be expanded to include a new green boulevard for pedestrians.

Bicyclists will benefit from a 1.5 metre-wide cyclists’ lane. The road works are expected to be finished in December 2017 and will cost about twelve million Swiss francs. Tram traffic on Aeschengraben will be suspended for two weeks in May 2017 for a renewal of the tram tracks.

Boulevard planned for pedestrians

The infrastructure of the Aeschengraben is old. Its subterranean power lines, pavement and street surfaces, and the entire tram track system have to be renewed. As part of this renewal, the right side of the pavement coming from Bahnhof SBB will be expanded to feature a new pedestrian boulevard with trees. The current green area in front of the round building by Mario Botta will be extended along the entire Aeschengraben. Seating opportunities for apprentices of the commercial school KV and passers-by will be provided. To expand the street, the private front yards on this side of the Aeschengraben shall be redesigned. As the pavement is to become part of these front yards, there will also be enough space for a new bicycle lane. The lanes for motorists remain the same. Central islands for two pedestrian crossings on Aeschenplatz will also increase safety for walkers. Thanks to more comfortable and handicapped-accessible tram stops for the lines 8, 10, and 11 in direction of the inner city, tram passengers can enter and exit trams without any limitations in the future.

Aeschengraben closed for two weeks

The works begin in January 2017 with a renewal of the IWB power lines and the cutting down of trees in front yards. Between the end of January and the middle of June 2017, motorists driving to Bahnhof SBB will have to use different lanes. Only one lane for cars towards Aeschenplatz will be available between mid-March and the end of July. In May, the BVB will replace tram tracks on a length of 310 metres. Tram traffic on Aeschengraben is thus suspended between Friday, 5th May, and Sunday, 21st May according to plan. Road renovation starts at the end of May. All buildings remain accessible to pedestrians during these works. There will be slight restrictions for cyclists, but the usual paths shall remain open.

The renovation and expansion of Aeschengraben is set to be finished in December 2017 and costs about twelve million francs. The Grand Council approved the project in 2014.

You can find out more about the project here.

Special prosecutor investigates Basel’s company car affair

The privileges of police squads regarding company cars in Basel’s Department for Justice and Security (JSD) are under investigation by an external party: Basel’s government decreed Hans-Peter Schürch (lead prosecutor of the canton of Bern) special prosecutor for this case.

A filed charge led to the proceedings, the government informed on Thursday. In order to avoid accusations of partiality, Basel’s public prosecution requested the government to employ an external party for the investigation. The government followed this request on 1st November.

The appointment of Mr Schürch therefore happened nearly four weeks before the second electoral round for Basel’s government, in which the accused head of the JSD, Baschi Dürr, was running for a seat. The Liberal politician was re-elected last Sunday with a gap of 1,800 votes to his runner-up Heidi Mück (BastA!).

The government declares in an announcement that it does not normally communicate the appointment of special prosecutors “since this could influence a running prosecution and could violate the rights of affected persons”. The appointed prosecutor is free to communicate and inform at will, it is stated further.

Roche increases payrolls in Switzerland again by 0.9 per cent

In 2017, Roche will provide an increase of 0.9 per cent for the salaries of its approximately 14,000 employees in Switzerland. This rise in payrolls had been agreed upon after discussions with employee representatives, the pharmaceutical group informed on Thursday.

Roche had entered negotiations with the employees’ association Roche Switzerland (AVR) and the workers’ commission Roche Basel (AKR). Both parties discussed matters in a dedicated, fair, and constructive environment, it was stated.

The intended rise of salaries is an acknowledgment of the high commitment of employees. Furthermore, the market comparisons for payrolls as well as the development of living expenses have been taken into account. This increase constitutes the framework for individual and performance-related salary adjustments starting on 1st April 2017.