Government wants to slash railway budget – again – The Post

Government wants to slash railway budget – again

Long-suffering commuters and regular railway users may have to get used to an even worse service if the proposed cuts are implemented

Critics fear that the proposed cuts will slow the pace of catching up with the track repair backlog (photo: Banedanmark)
September 6th, 2018 10:54 am| by Stephen Gadd
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As part of the budget proposals for 2019, the government has plans to save 300 million kroner from the railways.

In more concrete terms, 2019 would see cuts to the tune of 241 million kroner and in the following year 97 million kroner, reports Altinget, which has had the figures confirmed by the Transport Ministry.

Less on repairs
The main suggested source of the savings would be the budget set aside for repairs and maintenance, and this has drawn criticism from Radikale’s transport spokesperson, Andreas Steenberg.

“We must maintain the railways we have, otherwise they will deteriorate and then it will be really expensive. There is a large backlog, so we need to use all the money that has previously been budgeted,” said Steenberg

Enhedslisten agrees. “This just shows the way the government is downgrading the Danish railway system. First you completely withdraw funding from this area and later use the money on new motorways, and afterwards you can then save on railway maintenance,” said the party’s transport spokesperson, Henning Hyllested.

Track renewal still well-funded
The transport minister, Ole Birk Olesen, insists that despite the savings there is still a lot of money earmarked for the railways.

“We’re spending a great deal of money on track renewal. Despite the adjustments to the budget that have been made, in 2019 there is still a historically large amount available to track operator Banedanmark for railway renovation,” said Olesen in a written comment.