somehow relieved to go to an election debate, in these times of tension, general, and just listen to reproaches, insults, or raised voices. And even though the discrepancies, if any haylas, are appreciable, the possibility that there is an understanding, and that this materializes in major agreements on Road Safety among the four most important parties on the national scene, does not seem much less far-fetched, at least to this level. But let’s get to the crux of the issue. A day after the “discussion of four” for the elections of the 26J, the RACE convened the four national parties with greater representation in the Congress of Deputies, to discuss their projects, and promises, in the face of the next legislature. What pose PP, PSOE, podemos and Citizens regarding Road Safety and, by extension, the mobility?
The Popular Party: the situation is not so bad, but there is still work to do
Luis Aznar, the Popular Party, says that it will advocate for a new model of infrastructure that prioritizes the improvement of the roads, and not the creation of new routes is not a priority.
The logical thing would have been that from the first minute of the debate focused on the decisions taken by the Popular Party in the last legislature. But, even in this aspect, we find that two political poles seemingly opposite as Luis Aznar, Senator for Lion of the Popular Group, and Jacinto Morano, of the Parliamentary Group we Can in the Community of Madrid, they were very clear that our country does not need new infrastructure, but to preserve the already existing. The electoral commitment of the Partido Popular would happen precisely because of the improvement and the maintenance of Spanish roads. In any case, and as we will see later, this is not sufficient.
If something we highlight in this debate is the fact that the four participants, also Irene Rivera, Deputy for Málaga Citizens, and Zaida Cantera, Mp for Madrid of the PSOE, apuntasen in that particular direction, that of working to strengthen the maintenance and improvement of our roads.
Citizens: unfortunately the maintenance, no openings, does not provide votes
Citizens is concerned, above all, that maintenance does not shine, does not provide as many benefits election such as the opening of new roads.
Precisely Irene Rivera pointed to one of the most important aspects, and perhaps the reason why Spain has been overwhelmed by infrastructure without any use. The openings give votes. And to make openings it is necessary to create infrastructure. The maintenance of roads, unfortunately, it is a work ungrateful for anyone aspiring to obtain a revenue election so that, in the end, it is your responsibility.
But where goes the money? here’s another of the big problems. As our politicians, we can all agree that it is crucial that our roads will improve its maintenance. Our security depends on it. And not only talk about maintenance, but also major reforms required by the high accident rates in certain sections. The big problem is in the difficulty of adjusting budgets to ensure that the maintenance of our roads is adequate. An expense that, from the point of view of Road Safety and the social cost generated by the claims, should be more than justified.
According to what was published by the DGT in the number 212 of your magazine a few years ago, the Xunta of Galicia stood at 6,000€/km the annual cost of maintenance of a minor road, which could increase to 18 000€/km in the case of a high-capacity way. The maintenance of a kilometre of motorway amounts to 42,000€/km. In any case, the investment in annual maintenance of roads should not be less than 2% of the net asset value of the network.
Other data. Each kilometre of motorway, new it cost the spaniards between 2 and 8.5 million euros.
we Can: advocate for a new model of infrastructure and new rates for the transportation
We can advocate for a distribution more intelligent of the resources, and the possibility of implementing new rates.
Since we Can, and in the words of Jacinto Morano, his representative in this debate, do not hesitate to connect the model of creation of infrastructures Spanish with the bubble of the construction. Jacinto, highlighting, among other things, the existence of pathways under-utilised, as the famous and radial toll motorways. Even so, we Can advocate for a model in which there would claim to increase investment, but use task priority. Investments would be aimed to improve our roads, to ensure its maintenance, and give work to those construction professionals with the crisis, and the end of the real estate bubble, they were doomed to unemployment. Investments that cannot, in principle, would claim to the creation of new roads, but improving those that already exist.
But let’s go back to the big problem, how do you finance all these investments? Limited by the time of the debate, the speakers have not had enough time to detail some of the proposals. Still, since We are talking about the establishment of new rates to the road circulation, rates that would require a study to more detailed before it is put into practice, but initially would not affect the particular move with a conventional tourism, but also to other types of vehicles, such as the transport of cargo and passengers.
And that’s where Zaida Cantera, on the part of the PSOE, they would have their replica. Pointing, in other terms, a theme that also stood out from We, the budgets of municipalities and autonomies.
PSOE: the secondary should be the priority
The PSOE remember that you can not stifle the autonomies and the city councils, since the maintenance of the ways in which they killed more people in traffic accidents are dependence on yours.
In a General Election it is logical that we focus on the national policy. But we have not to forget that a good part of the deaths due to traffic accidents are due to incidents that occur on secondary roads, dependent of the autonomies and the city councils. At that point both the PSOE, as we Can, agreed that the cuts that have been practiced in the games aimed at local authorities and regional lead, necessarily, in a lower investment in these infrastructures that are of its competence. We talk about a topic that is not, or much less, trivial in a time when Spain is trying to reduce the public deficit.
with respect To the measure we Can, the pursuit of new rates for the transport, the representative of the PSOE showed his opposition for a simple reason, that the increase in transportation costs serve to in further hamper the work of many small and medium-sized companies in the sector.
Between the points of consensus between all the parties were, of course, work on lines very specific, such as the improvement marked, the installation of protection for motorists, the location of black points (their signage, and elimination), and, again, advocate for the improvement and maintenance of the infrastructure and not by the creation of new infrastructures that are not priorities.
Now our doubts are the following: what will come to an agreement of minimum standards which reflect the consensus seen in this discussion? And what is even more important, how they will comply with the promises that reflect his electoral programme?