Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) wants to speed up the construction of certain motorway projects in Germany. The federal states should inform the federal government by April 28 whether they agree to the statutory codification of a project to eliminate bottlenecks. This emerges from a letter from Wissing that was available to the German Press Agency.

The traffic light coalition had agreed at the end of March that there should be an acceleration for motorway projects that are traffic jams and bottlenecks. That’s a total of 145, but they also include sections of a project. They are mainly in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Baden-W├╝rttemberg and Hesse.

According to the Ministry of Transport, a total of 988 kilometers of new roads are to be built, which corresponds to 7.5 percent of the existing network. The goal: fewer traffic jams and smoother traffic.

Wissing plans talks with country representatives

However, the establishment of an outstanding public interest should be done in agreement with the country concerned, as stated in a decision paper by the coalition committee. With the stipulation of an “overriding public interest”, planning times for traffic routes are to be significantly reduced.

In order to explain the background and clarify any questions, according to Wissing’s letter, there should be a “technical discussion” with representatives of the federal states in the Federal Ministry this week at working level.

If a country agrees, projects are to be included in an approval acceleration law planned by Wissing, as the letter shows. The draft law should be dealt with quickly in the Federal Cabinet.

Greens reject faster freeway construction

After the coalition committee, Green Co-Chairman Ricarda Lang said it was “very likely” that not all of the autobahn projects would ultimately be built at an accelerated rate. Planning will only be accelerated if the responsible countries want it. The Greens are involved in many state governments.

The Greens had rejected faster motorway construction before the coalition committee. Jens Hilgenberg, head of transport policy at BUND, told the dpa: “The state governments must refuse Mr. Wissing’s concrete fantasies and are not allowed to register any projects.” Otherwise they are guilty of “aiding in the large-scale destruction of nature and the climate”. The construction of all 145 projects would destroy more than 80 ecologically valuable nature reserves.