Simmental - Switzerland

In January 1981, after a seven-year study, the Commission, instructed by the Federal Council to re-examine the contested sections of motorway, gave its support to a motorway passing through the Simmental valley. Although no referendum or initiative could be launched to appeal the motorways, Franz Weber simply sidestepped the disastrous constitutional principle, concentrating solely on the protection of nature and clearly demanding that: "No motorway can be constructed between Wimmis in the Bernese Oberland and Uvrier in the Valais." In just six months (rather than the 18-month limit set), the Helvetia Nostra association collected 135,000 signatures.  The two houses, the National Council and the Council of States, entered into the initiative, meaning a vote would become invalid. The initiative "No Motorway in the Simmental" could therefore be withdrawn and the Simmental was spared.