October 28, 2020

Ábalos invites Spaniards to participate in the mobility law asking why they do not go by bike and how to improve the Cercanías



The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda advances in the drafting of the new law on sustainable mobility and transport financing. The Minister, José Luis Ábalos, and the Secretary General of Transport, María José Rallo, presented this Thursday the strategy axes that their department manages, which are specified in more than 150 measures. They are collected in a website created for the occasion that incorporates participatory processes, such as a forum for ideas and surveys proposed by the Ministry. The platform does not explain how they will be taken into account: it only pretends to be an “open and close space for debate and reflection.”

As a starting signal, the Government asks citizens why they do not use the bicycle to move. Among the answers, to be marked with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, include the lack of infrastructure (segregated bike lanes and changing rooms or showers in the workplace or studies), the lack of own bicycle, distance to the workplace , physical form or meteorology of the population. To answer, you only need to register with a username, so the website does not collect data on the conditions of the person who answers (age, gender, availability of car and driver’s license, income level, employment situation and sector …) how do they other mobility surveys.

The platform starts with two forums: one on mobility in rural and low-population areas and the other on how to improve Cercanías services. The Ministry asks citizens “what actions should be prioritized to improve Cercanías services” and what ideas occur to them “to carry them out in an efficient and realistic way.” With regard to Cercanías, Ábalos advanced that it will soon present the Cercanías 2025 plan, which aims to improve services. At the time of writing these lines there is already a citizen proposal: an application that gives the actual arrival and departure times of trains.

As the minister explained, “we want there to be a genuine national debate about mobility. It must be broad, it is a crucial moment.” This participatory website comes a few weeks after start the public consultation procedures. For this purpose, the Chamber of Commerce created a mobility commission that included a handful of large companies and car manufacturers: Anfac, the automobile employer, Abertis, Acciona, Indra, ACS, Naturgy, Iberdrola and Repsol.

The new law will include aspects related to electric vehicle charging infrastructures, among other things, so the automotive and energy industries want to make their contributions.

Projects to present to European funds

The minister highlighted the “opportunity” that the European Recovery Plan represents to advance the mobility strategy. That is why he has asked that citizens participate “with a realistic spirit of consensus” and has stressed that he has “the autonomous communities and local entities” for the projects.

This morning, the general director of traffic, Pere Navarro, explained in a meeting organized by Anfac that the Ministry of Transport has asked the DGT for projects to present to Europe. “They ask us to identify digitization projects for all procedures related to vehicles to take advantage of European funds,” Navarro said. Indeed, one of the axes of action of the Ministry is intelligent mobility.

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