Standing on the brink of a transport collapse

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

These are not my words, and oddly do not relate to the UK.  "Germany is standing on the brink of a transport collapse,” Oliver Luksic, an MP and infrastructure expert for the liberal German Free Democrat party, was quoted by the Times last week.

Every summer there are massive flight delays. The expansion of airports isn’t working anywhere and there is a shortage of pilots.  The punctuality of the railways is horrendous . . . The condition of tens of thousands of rail and road bridges resembles a ticking time bomb. We have a very good road network but a massive backlog of repairs.”

I'm with Frau Dr M at the moment and will no doubt see some of this for myself (yet again).

The Times continued:

Only one in five of Deutsche Bahn’s intercity trains is fully operational. A quarter of all railway passengers arrive at their destination at least six minutes late. There are 4,000km of traffic jams on Germany’s motorways every day. The average motorist in Munich spends 51 hours a year going nowhere. A report last month found that Germany’s mobile internet was patchier than Albania’s.   ...  Stefan Gelbhaar, the Green MP who chairs the Bundestag’s transport and digital infrastructure committee, also pointed out that Germany ranked 28th out of 32 European nations on the quality of its broadband.

Meanwhile, the jewel in the crown of German foul-ups, the new Berlin airport – may just be set for a 2020 opening, some 9 years behind schedule (and €zillions over-budget).  Breaking Travel News (essential reading for German visitors) says:

The supervisory board of the Berlin Brandenburg airport has set a revised date of October 2020 for its opening.  This is nearly a decade after the original 2011 planned opening and follows years of mounting delays.  There has been no firm opening date set for the airport since it abandoned a planned 2017 start.  A supervisory board statement said:

“As a result of the intensive discussion, a consensus was reached indicating that a responsible and valid assessment is now available which provides a realistic basis for further work until commissioning.  In addition to the aspects of the construction schedule and associated processing of the remaining deficiencies in building services, the financing issues arising from the opening date were also discussed."

Somehow, I doubt if I'll live long enough to see it, and the local gossip is that there's a plan to turn it into an urban adventure playground – a much better idea – and more likely to be carbon positive.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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