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Friday, September 29, 2023

Investments in transport: Much more money for roads than for rail

Over the past 30 years, Germany has invested twice as much money in roads as in rail infrastructure. This is what a study shows.

A car transporter on the highway in front of an ICE.

More cars for more roads in Germany Photo: Arnulf Hettrich/imagebroker/imago

BERLIN afp | Germany has had around twice as much in the past 30 years invested in roads as in its rail infrastructure. This is the result of a report published on Tuesday Investigation the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the T3 Transportation Thinktank on behalf of Greenpeace. Figures from more recent years also show that “German politics is still fully geared towards cars”.

According to the report, the two think tanks examined investment in road and rail in the 27 EU countries as well as in Great Britain, Norway and Switzerland. Comparable data for these 30 countries was available for the years 1995 to 2018. During this period, an average of 66 percent more was invested in roads than in rail.

In Germany, the additional spending was reported to be over 100 percent: 278.4 billion euros went to roads, only 132 billion to rail. While the German rail network shrank by 15 percent to 38,400 kilometers by 2020, the motorway network grew by 2,000 kilometers (18 percent).

In an international comparison, only the rail network in Lithuania, Poland and Portugal shrank more than the German one. And only Spain, France and Portugal have built more kilometers of motorway relative to the existing network.

Greenpeace: Germany remains a car country

Compare the additional investments in the entire road network on rail investments However, Germany does not make it into the top 10. Countries such as Romania, Croatia, Poland and Ireland spent many times more on new roads than on new rails between 1995 and 2018.

More recent figures suggest a convergence of expenditure: in the countries for which figures are already available, additional expenditure on roads fell noticeably to 34 percent between 2018 and 2021. In Germany, too, the gap between investment volumes in the two modes of transport fell to 84 percent. However, the change is smaller than in the other countries, from which Greenpeace concludes that Germany will remain a car country for the time being.

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