Sines Port

EU wants Spain and Portugal to push infrastructure investments

The Portuguese and Spanish governments should increase their budgets for rail and port infrastructure. This is the recommendation of the European Commission. The institute considers the Portuguese ports as potential European import hubs due to its geographic location on the Atlantic coast. In this light, it has criticised the lack of investment in port and railway infrastructure.

The European Commission (EC) recommends to increase port and rail works to create stability in both industries, especially in sectors linked to international trade operations. It noted that upgrade works in the ports of Setubal, Viana do Castelo and Leixoes may pay off in the long-term if they are connected with an efficient railway infrastructure. In addition, it explained that the Portuguese connection with the Spanish railway networks is not yet strong enough to take advantage of its upgraded infrastructure.

Spain en France

The EC has also recommends Spain to accelerate civil works to complete the Mediterranean and Atlantic corridors, expected to be completed and to connect with the Pan-European railway corridors in 2030. In addition, EC noted that there are notable gaps in intermodal infrastructures in Spanish ports to make both corridors profitable. It explained that only 5 per cent of the goods handled in Spanish ports were transferred to trains.

Finally, the institution also made reference to the French infrastructure. There are still bottlenecks in France regarding its connection with the Spanish rail network, especially in the connections between Montpellier and Perpignan, it claimed.

Portugal map

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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