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2009-59

Press release 24.10.2009
 

Conservative-liberal agreement: transport section “without drive”

“Coalition only has clear targets for space travel”

road charge traffic sign

Attention! Road charges – the coalition agreement contains many taboos

©iStockphoto.com/Rudi Wambach

Berlin, The new German government’s transports policies are lacking in “spirit, fantasy and clear targets” according to the German Pro-Rail Alliance. The section on transport in the coalition agreement between the conservative CDU/CSU and the liberal FDP is marked by a “ban on thinking” that is used to provide a protective cover over road transport, complained the managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, Dirk Flege on Saturday in Berlin. Flege cited as examples the drastic rejection of charges on cars in cities, higher motorway charges on HGVs, greater clarity on transport costs and speed limits on motorways. “Necessary changes are being almost manically rejected with ‘not-with-us’ slogans. The status quo is being maintained, and there is no sense of a fresh start,” criticised Flege.

Despite bold statements of intent in the environmental section, the coalition agreement mentions no climate protection targets for the transport sector. “Transport still produces worrying amounts of CO2,” said Flege. “And the conservative-liberal coalition is just looking on without any drive.” Instead of strengthening the climate protection role of the railways, the coalition agreement is content with conjuring up electric cars as the saviours of the climate. Flege: “The coalition is equating electric transport with road transport, whereas electric transport is already a fact in Germany – on the railways.”

Flege also complained that the coalition sees itself in an “onlooker role” when it comes to the railways. “In the agreement, the new government talks about accompanying the positive development of Deutsche Bahn AG, the national railways. For us, that sounds like armchair viewing.” The coalition agreement only shows any kind of vision for space travel, complained Flege. He referred to line 1260, which states: “Germany needs clear targets for space travel. To this end, an independent space travel strategy with clear mission and technology targets will be developed within a year.” The managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance called on the coalition to show the same kind of strength of purpose in its railway policies. To date, the coalition has not even brought itself to at least strive for an increase in market share for the railways.

The Pro-Rail Alliance said it was positive that coalition transport experts want to maintain the previously agreed annual adjustment to government funding for regional rail transport. There was also hope for the ‘Deutschland Takt’ (German tact/timetable), which the coalition agreement wants to review. “Our wish is that there will be consultation with train operating companies and passengers,” said Flege. He offered to work constructively with the incoming federal transport minister, Peter Ramsauer (CSU) and added that the fact that Ramsauer has not yet had any experience as a transport politician could not be seen as a disadvantage. “When it comes to transport, an open-minded, non-ideological perspective is actually a big advantage”, said the Pro-Rail Alliance manager.

 

Allianz pro Schiene is the German alliance for the promotion of environmentally friendly and safe rail transport. It unites 16 non-profit organisations: the environmental organisations BUND, NABU, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and NaturFreunde Deutschlands; the consumer groups Pro Bahn, DBV and VCD; the automobile clubs ACE and ACV; the three rail unions TRANSNET, GDBA and GDL as well as the rail organisations BDEF, BF Bahnen, VBB and VDEI. Its member associations represent more than 2 million individual members. Allianz pro Schiene is supported by 93 companies operating in the rail sector.

 

Dr. Barbara Mauersberg
Press Officer

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