Germany prepares to splurge a quarter of a trillion euros on transport. It’s badly needed, but will they manage to spend it all this time?
Also, Colcorsa has a huge list of current and classic cars available for Continental driving adventures. More choppy European road safety stats. Monthly car-free days for Paris. Summer service cut for Condor.
GERMANY’S €260 BILLION TRANSPORT PLAN
Lavish spending promised on beleaguered roads.
Germany’s much-flagged Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan has leaked out early.
According to a draft seen by English-language business daily Handelsblatt, the government is preparing to spend more than a quarter of a trillion euros on transport infrastructure between now and 2030.
More than half is earmarked for roads, at around €15 billion each year, with two thirds to be spent on maintenance.
The German government has clearly been stung by recent harsh criticism of the country’s once world-leading road network.
Figures from 2013 said half of bridges, 20 percent of motorways and 40 percent of federal roads were in need of repair.
While the investment is roughly in line with what was previously announced, albeit €1 billion extra per year, the big change is in how the money is allocated.
Funding was previously doled out dependent on the size of each state’s population. This time cash will go to strategic routes.
North Rhine Westphalia in the west, capital Dusseldorf, and Bavaria in the south east take almost a third of the money between them.
One of the biggest challenges is likely to be finding suitable projects. Motoring club ADAC said last week that only half of the improvements identified in the previous plan 2001-2015 were ultimately realised.
Handelsblatt promises more details in its Global Edition from 12:00CET Wednesday. The official infrastructure plan is due to be published in March.
roundup: ROAD SAFETY. Road deaths apparently increased in Germany last year, for the third year in succession according to figures in Der Spiegel, after falling steadily for the previous 20 years. It’s down to ‘more and more aggressive drivers’ says an instructor. The numbers are estimates based on data January-June. Particularly striking is that the number of accidents has remained pretty constant since 1991, at around 2.5 million each year, though that has started to creep up in recent years . Meanwhile, Denmark did indeed equal its road safety record in 2015 according to stats office Vejdirektoratet (via World Highways). However, laurels so far go to Russia which cut fatalities by an impressive 14.7% to 23,114 versus 26,963 in 2014 says @AGRE_RoadSafety. This represents a fairly shocking 3849 lives saved last year, i.e. twice the entire typical annual death toll in the UK. See more on road safety in Europe 2015. FRANCE. As expected, Paris will have monthly car-free days. Starting Sunday 1 May, the first Sunday in the month will see the Champs Elysees reserved for pedestrians only. The French capital is also set to hold an annual car-free Sunday in September, part of European Mobility Week along with other European cities, though mayor Anne Hidalgo wants a considerably larger area this time, possibly even the entire city, as in Brussels. CONDOR FERRIES. The UK-Channel Islands operator has withdrawn all so-called double rotation crossings from the summer schedule. It means no twice daily round trips on Saturdays. The move comes after a review of sailings in consultation with the States of Jersey and Guernsey, and after feedback from customers and tour operators concerned about too-tight scheduling, knock-on delays and inconvenient departure and arrival times it said in a statement. The cut in services reduces capacity by around 10 percent compared to last year.