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Cabinet Approves Rebuilding Unused Railway Lines as Cycling Paths
Date: 12.09.2018 13:13 Author: KUCE Urgency: 4 Category: EN: Economy and finance - eco

Cabinet Approves Rebuilding Unused Railway Lines as Cycling Paths


      Bratislava, September 12 (TASR) - Long unused railway lines might be rebuilt as temporary pedestrian or cycling paths, according to a draft amendment to the Railway Act sponsored by three MPs of the co-governing Most-Hid party, Elemer Jakab, Tibor Bastrnak and Peter Voros, which was okayed by the Cabinet at its session on Wednesday.
      The draft amendment is currently in its second reading in Parliament.
      After exhausting possibilities like rental and sale of unused railway routes, the current wording of the law doesn't allow for other options apart from their total liquidation, including removal of all their components in line with construction rules, which induces additional costs and expenditures, say the MPs.        
      According to the MPs, liquidation of railway routes is an irreversible step and building them anew would cost much more than returning them to serviceable condition.
      The new rules would enable construction of a temporary local road destined for pedestrians or non-motorised transport on unused railway tracks. Regional authorities or municipalities through which a particular railway line goes would be able to rebuild it in this way.        
      "This would enable using state property through local government authorities in an effective manner and to the benefit of residents of a particular locality," stressed the law's submitters. If railway service on these routes needs to be resumed sometime in the future, a reversal process would be enabled.      
      The Transport and Construction Ministry agrees with the proposal and it has recommended that the Cabinet should approve the draft. According to the ministry, the amendment will have no negative impacts on the public administration budget, because if an unused railway line is withdrawn from administration of state-run rail company ZSR, its expenses on a particular line's maintenance will drop. Meanwhile, costs related to the line's rebuilding as a cycling path or any other recreational facility will be born by the respective regional authority or municipality.  
      
      ko/mcs      

Keywords: EXP-SR-Cabinet-railway-lines-unused-cycling-paths
Source: 20180912TBA01213