|GP/SP: Romania plans for sustainable transport|
Timescales: 2016 to 2030
Romania has finally adopted its General Transport Master Plan, which paves the way for the release of EU funds that will support the development of transport within the country. The Plan foresees the spending of over €43 billion by 2030 on the developing the country’s road network, but also on modernising 5,000 km of railways.
Earlier versions of the plan had been criticised for insufficient consideration to the biodiversity impacts, which were addressed in 2015, and for planning to close a large proportion of the country’s railway network. This element of the plan had been criticised by the UITP. Since that criticism, the Romanian authorities have revised their approach, which has been welcomed by both the UITP and the CER. These organisations were particularly supportive of the renewed support for the Romanian railway system in the medium- and longer-term and called for this support to be followed by the necessary investment from EU funds.
The positive approach to sustainable modes can also be found in Romania’s Regional Operational Programme, which sets the framework for dispersing EU funds to regional and local authorities until 2020. Around €2.3 billion has been allocated exclusively to sustainable urban mobility projects and will be used to support a much wider range of projects than had been the case in previous funding periods.
In order to receive any funds from the Programme, municipalities have to put in place an Urban Mobility Plan, as part of their more general urban plan. Investment in public transport vehicles, the modernisation of public transport more generally, electronic ticketing, intermodal terminals and electric vehicle charging stations are all being encouraged, as is the planting of trees in order to improve the environment within cities. The capital Bucharest started developing its sustainable urban transport plan (SUMP) in 2014.