Reader feedback: Develop rail system

Re: Sk8 billion allocated for D1 motorway , Volume 11, Number 24, June 20 - June 26, 2005

The inconsistencies in the approach of the Slovak government to an integrated transport system are laid bare once more:

"The whole modernization process costs money, of course - lots of it. The Transport Ministry estimates that costs will climb up to €2 billion." ("Railway systems update", 20 June, 2005).

However, according to a Transport Ministry report, total expenditures on the construction of highways and speedways should reach Sk16.1 billion (€412 million), based on a preliminary plan from the national highway company, Národná dialničná spoločnosť.

A "whopping" €2 billion to be spent on railway infrastructure improvements over 15 years but a "mere" €412 million to be spent on highways!

Slovakia has had the chance to learn from the mistakes of the old European Union countries but seems content to make the same mistakes and encourage greater single-occupancy car use.

There will then be the complaint that Bratislava is gridlocked and cannot attract enough high calibre staff.

A modern rail system allowing travel to the capital in one hour would see higher earnings spent in the regions from where people could commute.

Of course, who owns the land that is going to be bought with EU funds for motorway construction? There's one question, and then a second: What about the Kyoto protocol?

David Barry,
Great Britain

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