Transport, the M5S: “The government in Calabria is focusing on the wrong works”


By John

What is the point of connecting Calabria and Sicily with the mega Strait Bridge project if the internal road system in the two regions is effectively non-existent? The question becomes even more important when the The government rejects the route that cuts inland from Praia a Mare to Tarsia, blocking any perspective on high speed”. The spokespersons of the company stated this in a note 5 Star Movement elected in Calabria.

“It is no mystery – they say – that the orography of our region is complicated. But we cannot see a commitment on the part of the Ministry of Transport to overcome these problems in an attempt to make Calabria a normal region. The data in our possession are clear: 12.5 billion are needed to build the bridge over the Strait of Messina. The Sicily Region will contribute 10% of the total, 1 billion taken from the 2021-2027 development and cohesion funds and 200 million from the 2014-2020 ones (i.e. funds extrapolated from the Por with all that it means: fewer tenders, fewer social interventions) . It is probable, at this point, that a similar operation will be repeated in Calabria.

The Salerno-Reggio Calabria, 207 km of high-speed railway, would cost more or less the same amount as the Bridge, 12-13 billion. At the moment, however, only 2 billion are foreseen for the first Battipaglia Romagnano lot, taken from Pnrr funds, with a commitment to doubling the Santomarco tunnel between Paola and Cosenza although there is no investment program for the construction of the work. Which – continue the five-star exponents – also jeopardizes the future of the port of Gioia Tauro: without high speed and without passage of goods from Tarsia to the Adriatica the port would remain only for transhipment and the employment limited only to the port area excluding any development perspective for Calabria.

We do not want to enter into the debate on which is the best route for high-speed rail but it is necessary to underline that the service currently offered to users becomes poorer every day. An emblematic case is the travel time of the Frecciargento Reggio Calabria-Rome which increased by 20 minutes. We are convinced that – concludes the note – the government and Minister Salvini are focusing on the wrong projects, light years away from the real needs of Calabrian citizens and from the relaunch strategies of the South which pass, without a shadow of a doubt, through a better transport network which can make connections with the rest of the country and Europe efficient and concretely functional”.