11 Jul 2023, 13:38
James Jackson

German government plans to cut spending for cycle lanes but not roads

Die Zeit

The German government plans to cut funds for bike paths, while leaving spending for roads unchanged, reports weekly Die Zeit. According to the draft budget for 2024, funds allocated to the transport ministry will increase to 39 from 36 billion euros. Spending on cycle lanes, however, will be cut by half to 400 million euros, according to calculations by cycling association ADFC, which is highly critical of the plans. “It is shameful that the federal government is shirking responsibility. Federal states and municipalities need long-term planning security for their cycle path projects, otherwise becoming a cycling nation won’t work," the organisation’s chair Rebecca Peters told Die Zeit. The 11.5-billion-euro budget for road maintenance will remain unchanged, according to the draft budget.

Three billion euros will be allocated for investments in Germany’s railways to try to double the amount of rail traffic by 2030, though this stops far short of the 11 billion euros that the traffic-light government coalition - formed by the Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) - said was needed in investment annually. Together with rail transit, cycling could play important role in the decarbonisation of the transport sector, which is often referred to as the “problem child” of the country’s energy transition, because emissions have remained stubbornly high. Many activists, experts, and even government advisors have accused the transport ministry led by Volker Wissing, a member of the pro-business FDP, of inaction.

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