‘Closing the railway lines sends a very bad signal’
Monday, 29 July 2019
Just when all political forces are calling for mobility practices to change, closing railway lines is a very bad signal. Wallonia must maintain SNCB investments on regional lines, Wallonia’s socialist party (PS) said on Monday.
According to l’Echo and De Tijd Saturday editions, the Infrabel Network manager threatens to close 12 railway lines in Wallonia and one in Flanders, due to a lack of resources.
“After the closing of several stations, it is again Walloon rural areas and inhabitants whose access to public services is threatened,” Socialist group leader in the Walloon parliament, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, denounced on Monday.
The party believes it is important to review the allocation of the 60-40 average calculation that is based on the Regions’ demographic weight, because it does not take into account the network size (47% in Wallonia) or the rugged terrain of the southern part of the country which necessitates more structures and maintenance.
For the socialist group, we cannot advocate ambitious targets for emission reduction and at the same time announce the removal of train lines.
Increasing the shift from car to public transport requires collaboration and coordination between operators. “Threatening to unilaterally eliminate train lines is really unlikely to improve this collaboration.”