Without taking into account any of the pre-existing public documents, the Romanian authorities began the public debates regarding the Transport General Master Plan (MPGT). Those expecting nice promises about thousands of kilometres of motorways until 2030 or a list of projects prioritised according to the necessities and the reality will be disappointed. The AECOM experts, the company that draw the plan in exchange of 2.2 million EUR, believe Romania doesn’t need motorways.
This totally contradicts the plan proudly presented in December 2013 by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who was announcing that over 1,500 new kilometres of motorways will be completed until 2018. “Realistically speaking, Romania needs motorways that are also built and not only planned. And we established 2018 as a possible deadline for building these motorways”, said the Prime Minister during his presentation called “Romania 100”.
Only 160 km in 10 years
MPGT is drawn for the 2014-2030 period, but seems not to take into account the economic development, especially for the 2021-2030 period. According to the document advanced by the Transport Minister Ioan Rus, in the future 6-7 years only 320 kilometres of motorways will be built: Sibiu-Brasov (103 km), Ploiesti-Comarnic (49 km), Craiova-Pitesti (115 km) and Comarnic-Brasov (54 km). The estimated global cost of the four projects is three billion EUR. The next seven years won’t change too much the road infrastructure map, excepting for the Bucharest’s South Ring (35 km) and the Sibiu-Pitesti section (115 km) expressways.
As for the 2021-2030 interval, the Minister and AECOM propose a single motorway (Brasov-Bacau – 158 km). Six months ago, both the former Transport Minister Dan Sova and the Prime Minister Victor Ponta were bragging about Romania arriving to over 2,400 kilometres of motorways by 2020. They were also boasting about their past achievements – 242 kilometres of motorways in only two years.
At the end of 2013, Romania had 644 kilometres of motorways and according to the current Master Plan in 2020 the country will reach at most 1,100-1,200 kilometres.
An explanation for replacing plamnned motorways by expressways came from the very Transport Minister, who said the Master Plan comprises fewer motorways as the expressways are about 25% cheaper.
“At this moment, Romania has a solid and scientific document which points out the country’s needs. These needs are clearly defined. It needs 1,300 kilometres of motorways, over 2,000 kilometres of expressways, over 3,000 kilometres of regional roads, upgraded railroads, and international airports”, said Ioan Rus. The only thing the Minister forgot to say is that the country needs all these today and not in 2020 or 2030.