"What we propose is that our country decides to make in the next years the necessary investment to reach such 40% of freight and passenger transportation by rail," said Catarina Martins, in Peso da Régua, during the presentation of the National Rail Plan proposed by the Left Bloc.
And according to the Bloquista coordinator, the annual investment needed to complete this plan "is only one-third of what this year costs the hole of the New Bank."
Currently in Portugal, according to Catarina Martins, only 5% of the transportation of passengers and goods is done by train.
"It's not that much money, it's a matter of choice, knowing where we want to put our resources. A year of New Bank hole, a year equal to 2019 in the New Bank hole, gives three years of the National Rail Plan that the BE proposes, "he stressed.
After decades of "abandoning the railroad in Portugal in favor of the highway", the BE proposes a strategy that focuses on the railways and also challenges "other countries of the European Union so that the railroad becomes the most used".
Catarina Martins listed as objectives of this plan, to achieve until 2040, territorial cohesion, mobility, environmental issues, employment and increase of the productive capacity of the country.
"Collective rail transport is the only way to have an effective and rapid reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. It is not enough good intentions and signing papers, concrete actions are needed, "he stressed.
He also explained that the BE project envisages an "increase in national production capacity, in particular by using the Railroad Maintenance Company (EMEF) workshops that have been disqualified to allow the construction of necessary rolling stock."
Catarina Martins said that "there was a clear project to dismantle the railroad across the country and create the highway with its Public Private Partnerships, with its tolls and with the unbearable price of fuel for people living in the Interior."
He also explained that the BE chose the station of Peso da Régua, district of Vila Real, in the Douro Line, to present the bill that will be delivered in the Assembly of the Republic, because it is an example of the divestment.
The Douro Line currently only connects to Pocinho and its branches, such as the Corgo line, Tua or Sabor, have been deactivated.
The Block's proposal involves the construction of a third railroad crossing, exclusively for the railroad, for the transportation of passengers and goods, the total quadrupling of the Northern Line and a new axis of the interior.