The Government accelerates to implement payment for use in the highways in two years



The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) recognizes that "we are out of time" to decide which model will be established in 2024 on Spanish high-capacity roads in compliance with the commitment with the European Union of the principles of payment for use and whoever pollutes, pays. This has been recognized on the morning of this Thursday Isabel Pardo de Vera, Secretary of State of Mitma, andn the closing of the ABC Sustainable Economy Forum what has been about 'University and innovation: The mobility sector and the role of infrastructures'.

Pardo de Vera has stressed that the choice of the road pricing model "It is one of my top priorities, because it would be a lack of responsibility not to address it imminently." The Secretary of State responded in this way to the requests that minutes before she had formulated the CEO of Abertis, José Aljaro, and the presidents of Seopan and the Spanish Highway Association, Julián Núñez and Juan Francisco Lazcano, respectively. Aljaro advanced that technicians warn that "time is running out" to decide the system that will finally be implemented in 2024, whether it is public or private, since it will be necessary to deploy gantries on the roads, or license plate and emission control satellites of CO2, or decide if a vignette or flat rate is finally applied. Lazcano proposed to create the first connected, safe and green corridor in Europe between Madrid and Lisbon, while Núñez explained the need to strengthen dialogue and public-private collaboration within the framework of compliance with the 2030 Agenda of the sustainable development goals (SDG).

Depoliticize the debate

The Mitma Secretary of State has stressed that "one of the challenges we face is to achieve the non-politicization of the debate on infrastructures", because she believes that "these are far-reaching issues and we cannot allow everyday Manichaeism to affect us that permeates politics'. In this sense, it has abounded that «the planning and execution of infrastructures are country projects that are developed in the very long term, which require gigantic investments and which take into account the needs of territories of different colors ”.

Regarding public-private collaboration, in the forum the speakers also spoke of the "necessary trust between the parties", to which Pardo de Vera has stated that he has "the utmost respect" because "it is essential when it comes to moving forward projects, since it is impossible to achieve anything from just one of the parties ». For this, the Secretary of State for Transport stressed that the Mitma and she herself are at the disposal of the sector "To advance more forcefully and improve hiring systems, bureaucracy and incidents."

Programmatic vision

In the first colloquium of the ABC Sustainable Economy Forum, in which university innovation at the service of mobility challenges was addressed, Pere Macias, doctor in Engineering of Roads, Canals and Ports and director of the Cercle d'Infraestructures Business Chair at the UPC, has advocated "making an effort to order, organize and rationalize the debate on infrastructures", since, in his opinion, now "there are intense extemporaneous, reactive, disorganized and tactical debates, when from the university we would like the debates to be strategic «. Macías also called for a "programmatic" vision in universities to guide collaboration with the business world.

For its part, Stefan Ilijevic, Head of Innovation at SEAT, has pointed out that sustainability and the introduction of electromobility involve "changing the entire industrial fabric in order to ensure that future jobs remain in Spain." Ilijevic recalled that private vehicles are parked 95% of the time and that this circumstance opens a shared mobility business, especially in a scenario in which the fleet of vehicles will have to be reduced due to the implementation, for example, of low-lying areas. emissions in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. The SEAT innovation manager also stressed the need to "influence the initial phase of innovations, the creativity of universities and that companies contribute resources at risk".

"Being Spanish is not being worse"

José Manuel Vassallo, director of the Abertis Chair in Spain and Professor of Transportation at the Higher Technical School of Civil Engineers, Channels and Ports of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPC), has defended the "freshness" that universities provide in their collaboration with companies. In this sense, he recalled that the concept of mobility as a service came out of a doctoral thesis from a Finnish university, the author of which now works for the firm Skoda. Vassallo has also vindicated the level of our universities when commenting that a company that collaborates with the UPC and also with another American university told him "that in Spain we do the same as in the US, but we only charge a tenth part." At this point, the professor has advocated for abolishing that feeling "that assumes that because you are Spanish you are worse."

In terms of collaboration between companies and universities, Macías has commented the University Network of Territory and Mobility of the Company Chair of the Cercle de Infraestructuras, which groups 16 Ibero-American countries, since it is a "very positive experience because you realize that where you least expect it, you find a group of people who have developed or studied something that serves you." For his part, Ilijevic has said that the SEAT chair at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) "is our farmhouse of young engineers", Talent also generated at the Carnet institution, the first major research and innovation center for the automotive and urban mobility field of the future in Barcelona.

Innovation in materials

In the second colloquium, entitled 'The new mobility with the challenges of sustainability and economic reactivation', José Aljaro, CEO of Abertis He explained that technologically his company works "on more sustainable materials", for example, on asphalt so that it is one centimeter thick and not five, within the framework of the circular economy, reusing tires and waste from the steel industry "because it is not we have a cleaner society by cleaning more, but rather by making less dirty ”.

The extension of 'electrolineras' that guarantee recharging to users of electric vehicles in their interurban mobility, and the warning that with the establishment of low-emission zones in cities, only accessible to electric cars, «we are only going to postpone ten years the problem, because cWith electrification we will cause collapses. In this sense, Aljaro explained that in the case of access to central London, 400 million pounds are collected annually, of which one hundred are operating expenses and the remaining 300 "are reinvested in public service infrastructures to encourage citizens to use public transportation. "

NASA as an example

Julián Núñez, president of Seopan, has defended that "mobility has to make our life easier, by investing less time in the trip, but also reducing social costs, polluting less, with fewer accidents and also less noise, and that, in addition, it is economically sustainable and not make it more expensive. " In his opinion, these three precepts are consistent with the fulfillment of the 2030 agenda. Regarding the financing of infrastructures and given the current economic situation, Núñez has defended that the mobility model "must be coherent" based on collaboration public-private, because in Spain, he maintains, "It is necessary to take the step of becoming partners instead of enemies." At this point, he recalled that NASA has hired a company on a mission to the Moon to "have a guarantee on costs and compliance with deadlines, also transferring the risks to the private sector beyond obtaining its financing."

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