The Government has started the procedures again to approve the draft of the Sustainable Mobility Law after the previous attempt was suspended due to the change of legislature. The content between the two proposals remains intact with the exception of the study to implement measures on highways, which is deleted. As it is an agreement reached with the European Union, its exchange has been negotiated for an increase in investments in freight transport by rail, as confirmed by the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Óscar Puente.
Specifically, the agreement reached with the European Union contemplates three main premises: developing railway highways, subsidizing the fees that Adif charges operators for 5 years and launching support and incentives for the sector. The main objective is to reach a 10% share of freight transport by rail, compared to the current 4%, for which investments have already been activated such as the 1,700 million in the Port of Algeciras, the expansion of the Port of Valencia or the development of The Atlantic and Mediterranean corridors.
Four main objectives in the law
In addition to this measure, the draft bill that covers the entry of competition in some bus lines, the creation of a National Sustainable Mobility System or the rate that city councils may create to charge vehicles when entering the Low Level Zones. . Emissions (ZBE). Regarding these, Puente has recalled that it is an optional toll that is not required by law, but only provides legal coverage so that it can be carried out if a local corporation wants to do so.
In the press conference after the Council of Ministers that approved the procedure, Óscar Puente explained that this law pursues four main objectives: recognize mobility as a right, decarbonize transport, increase the efficiency of public and digital spending . hoist the sector. In this way, his ambition is to save up to 8,000 million euros in public spending in a decade, as well as increase the productivity of companies by 3% in that same period of time.
“It is intended that our country, which is already a benchmark in terms of infrastructure, has mobility to match, where transport guarantees access to rights such as work, leisure or health, respecting the powers of the rest of the administrations and reaching the necessary consensus with the parliamentary groups.” The minister has also detailed that the drafting of this law responds to three reasons: its economic nature – mobility accounts for 13% of household spending, 800,000 jobs and more than 5% of the GDP -, the need to declare Mobility as a right and sustainability and the fight against climate change.
The objective is to approve the final text before December 30 of this year, the deadline for the delivery of European funds, a milestone that is subject to the approval of this law.
Criticism of the right for the elimination of bike lanes
The minister has regretted that up to 1,500 million euros are being invested in the implementation of ZBEs, and yet town councils such as Valencia, Logroño, Elche and Valladolid are reversing actions in sustainable mobility, such as bike lanes, for ideological reasons. “This does not happen in any country of the European Union, except in Spain and it has a name, it is called a partisan coalition between PP and Vox, it is called introducing the denialist extreme right into governments, it is called turning health into an object of political dispute, when health has no political color. The lungs of citizens, of all, those on the left and the right, are the same and they benefit from clean air equally,” he noted.
Likewise, Puente has once again appealed to France to facilitate cross-border connections, understanding that the right to free movement of goods across Europe “is of no use” if the necessary infrastructure is not in place.