The Strategic Freight Rail Transport Enhancement Plan, was presented by the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Jose Blanco at the Transport Sector Conference held on September 14. The Spanish government wants an efficient freight rail transport system that will contribute to the increase of company competiveness, improving social, environmental and economic sustainability. To this end, EUR 7.512 billion have been allocated.
During his statement, Jose Blanco assessed the current situation of the modal distribution of land freight transport in Spain, where road transport clearly prevails with 95.9% of market share in comparison with railway which accounts for 4.1%, according to information from 2008. In order to improve this situation the abovementioned plan aims at “promoting freight rail transport adjusting to market needs, giving value to the global logistic chain, with the objective of improving system, service quality, efficiency and sustainability management, including, R&D&i initiatives”.
Blanco underlined that efficiency would be the main criteria for the selection and implementation of infrastructure investment projects. Another guideline would be to establish a new economic framework for transport, based on the opening of markets; on charges based on the progressive use of internalization of external costs and the creation of public-private associations.
Within the PEIT 2005-2020 (Strategic infrastructure and Transport Plan) update program, railways and more specifically suburban networks and freight transport, will continue to have priority in the PEIT framework.
The minister put forward the actions and strategic lines for the updating of the Plan, that include a new system management model; measures to improve service quality and increase efficiency, as well as infrastructure upgrading.