EN
APS 5017

News

Minister for Infrastructure advocates “large-scale public investment” in rail

29 Mar · 21h00

© Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 - António Pedro Santos/LUSA

The Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and Housing has advocated “large-scale public investment” in rail transport, infrastructure, rolling stock and services. He pointed out that this is the only way to make it possible “to transfer a significant part of road and air traffic to rail”.



Pedro Nuno Santos was speaking at the launch of the European Year of Rail 2021, from the headquarters of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon.



The Minister said that “only the public sector can commit the large sums necessary so that society can reap even greater benefits”, noting that “this progress will not be possible as long as investment levels in Europe remain depressed, as they have been since the economic crisis a decade ago”.

210329Psb 57

Pedro Nuno Santos, Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and Housing © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

During his speech, Pedro Nuno Santos emphasised that the market alone is not sufficient to respond to the needs of society and that this is why “governments should not limit themselves to the policy instruments they have available to them” for implementing these options.



Recalling that every country in Europe has been increasing investment in rail networks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister believes that this programme — which will be organising a large number of activities across Europe throughout the year — is an opportunity to take “a serious look at the sector” and to “initiate a debate that can show us all, politicians, manufacturers, industry, passengers, workers and, finally, citizens, the best options” to choose.

210329Psb 81

The launch of the European Year of Rail 2021 took place in digital format from the Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

The European Year of Rail is aimed at discussing the benefits of rail for people, the economy and the climate, and the challenges to the creation of a truly single European rail space, without borders, promoting the use of trains as a safe and sustainable means of transport.



Also taking part in the launch event via video conference were the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, and the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, Elisa Ferreira.

Watch here the launch conference for the European Year of Rail Transport 2021:

By clicking here, you will be agreeing to the streaming platform’s terms and conditions. For more information, please check our Privacy Statement.

To view the video it is necessary to activate the permission above.