Portugal increased its road network by 2,378 kilometers (346%), between 1995 and 2018, while the railway network decreased by 18%, according to a study published this Tuesday by the environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) Greenpeace.
Over the same period (including comparable data across Europe), Portugal invested more than three times as much in roads as in railways: 23.4 billion euros compared to 7.7 billion.
The NGO also highlights that, despite warnings about climate change and its consequences since 1990, the European countries analyzed (EU, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) maintained the investment focus on expanding the road network (1.5 billion euros), to the detriment of the train (930 billion in rail), a difference of 66% between the two options.
Between 1995 and 2018, Portugal recorded the third highest growth, in absolute terms, in motorway length in Europe, after Spain and France. Regarding the reduction of the railway network, Portugal ranked third, after Latvia and Poland.
The NGO highlights that, since 1995, the number of passengers on Portuguese trains has decreased and eight lines (a total of 460 kilometers) have been deactivated. affecting about 100,000 people.
On the positive side, Greenpeace applauds the creation of the new national rail pass that allows, from August 1, a passenger to travel – for 49 euros – on regional trains throughout the national territory (not applicable to interregional and urban trains). .
The environmental organization also insists on the need to invest in connections between Portugal and Spain, specifically Lisbon-Madridremembering that there is only one direct train between Porto and Vigo.
Ahead of the EU Transport Ministers’ Council (on the 22nd and 23rd), Greenpeace calls on governments “to correct their historic failure to promote rail over oil-powered private transport and to stop closing railway stations regions, reopen decommissioned rail infrastructure and massively transfer funds from road and air transport to rail to ensure the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and equal access to sustainable mobility for all.”