EU grants almost EUR 280 mln for Polish transport investment

Almost PLN 1.2 billion (EUR 280 million) is to be earmarked from EU funds for the modernisation and building of 55 railway stations and construction of the Bolków (southwestern Poland) bypass. Eight contracts were signed in the matter on Tuesday.

EU funds will be earmarked for the construction and modernisation of 55 stations, traffic improvement on railway line 93 and improvements to "passenger information on the network managed by (national rail operator - PAP) PKP PLK," Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk announced at a Tuesday press conference.

The European Union will also co-finance construction of the Bolków bypass and its connection to the S3 expressway. "This is a road, which runs southwards, to our neighbours, and connects there with the European road system," Adamczyk explained.

During the press conference, the Centre for EU Transport Projects (CEUTP) concluded eight co-financing contracts with PKP, PKP PLK and the General Directorate for National Roads and Highways. Joanna Lech of the CEUTP announced that the combined value of the projects is almost PLN 1.8 billion (EUR 419 million) and EU co-financing from the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020 stands at almost PLN 1.2 billion. The projects are scheduled for completion between 2020 and 2022.

"At the moment, Poland is the biggest building site in Europe," Investment and Development Minister Jerzy Kwieciński, also present at the press conference, observed. He underscored that PLN 91.3 billion (EUR 21.7 billion) has already come into Poland from the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020 for the biggest infrastructural investments.

"At the same time we have absorbed nearly 80 percent of funds from this programme," the minister highlighted. "The value of rail investments currently being carried out within the programme is over PLN 21 billion (EUR 4.9 billion). The contracts signed to date mean that EU co-financing covers the construction or modernisation of almost 900 kilometres of railway and the purchase or improvement of more than 500 rail vehicles, for example wagons and locomotives. That these investments make sense can be seen in the ever better data on passenger numbers and the quantities of goods transported."

Kwieciński added that the projects are distributed among many regions. "The contracts signed today are deals for the modernisation, adaptation or rebuilding of stations in eight regions of the country," he pointed out, going on to state that all the stations would be adapted to the needs of disabled persons and, as such, form part of the Accessibility Plus programme.