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Hungary's transport strategy finalized

The government has finalized the list of road, railway and water transport projects to be carried out between 2007 and 2013 as part of the Operative Program for Transport System Development (Közop), a key component of Hungary’s national development strategy, Government Commissioner Gordon Bajnai announced.

Going against EU guidelines to promote rail transport over highway construction, the architects of the plan earmarked approximately Ft 600 billion for the former and over Ft 750 billion for the latter, daily Népszabadság pointed out. Moreover, an estimate by the Transportation Science Association and other professional organizations suggests that the total cost of the planned road construction projects alone is in the range of Ft 1,650 billion, slightly less than the entire Ft 1,700 billion Közop budget.

Transportation professionals pointed to many other shortcomings in the proposal, such as wrong road construction priorities, failure to increase the share of electrified railway lines, insufficient funds for the creation of high-speed rail corridors, and lack of a detailed navigability plan for the Danube. The scheme requires a final nod of approval from the EU, which may decide to block several road construction projects, the newspaper speculated. (Népszabadság)