Under the Basic Law, the Federal Government is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the federal transport infrastructure (federal railway infrastructure: Art. 87e of the Basic Law; federal waterways: Article 89(2) of the Basic Law; federal trunk roads: Art. 90 of the Basic Law).
It is the Federal Government's objective to provide people with safe and affordable mobility and create a reliable and competitive transport environment for the business sector. A high-performing transport system is a prerequisite for a modern society, for economic growth, employment and prosperity.
The federal transport infrastructure plans (FTIPs) form the basis for the development and upgrading of federal transport infrastructure. A federal transport infrastructure plan is prepared by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and is adopted by the Federal Cabinet. It contains all the structural preservation requirements of the federal transport infrastructure and all investment projects planned by the Federal Government for roads, railways and waterways. The FTIP is a framework program and planning tool. It is not a funding plan or program, nor is it of a statutory nature, and it does not replace any permissions required under public law. It is valid until the following FTIP is approved, usually 10 to 15 years. The current Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan is the FTIP 2030.
When the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan is being drawn up, the Federal Government proves that a project under consideration is beneficial to the whole economy and that it is necessary. Upgrading and new-build needs are determined on the basis of the volume of traffic predicted in traffic forecasts. The basis of the FTIP 2030 is the traffic forecast for 2030.
The FTIP forms the basis for the Federal Government's bill to amend the acts governing the upgrading of federal railway infrastructure and federal trunk roads with the related requirement plans. In addition, following the FTIP 2030, there is also the aim of introducing a new act governing the upgrading of federal waterway infrastructure with a related requirement plan. The German Bundestag takes a decision on the inclusion of the projects of the FTIP, and possibly other projects, in the requirement plans of the upgrading acts. Only then is the need for the selected projects enshrined in law.
Based on the requirement plans, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure develops five-year plans which illustrate the need for investment for the years ahead. In 2006/2007, for the first time, the Ministry developed a cross-modal framework investment plan for federal transport infrastructure. This plan establishes the investment priorities for the structural preservation, upgrading and construction of transport infrastructure. In addition to the requirement plan measures for the federal railway infrastructure and the federal trunk roads, it also includes information relating to the federal waterway projects contained in the FTIP. Therefore, the next five-year plan will be developed based on the FTIP 2030.
At prescribed intervals after the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan has been drawn up (every five years), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure reviews the requirement plans for the federal railways and federal trunk roads to determine whether they need to be adapted to current economic and traffic trends. The most recent review of the requirement plans was completed in 2010. The findings of the review have no immediate effect on the FTIP. However, they can prompt parliament to adjust the requirement plans or the Federal Government to prepare a new Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan in order to refocus Germany’s cross-modal infrastructure policy.
To deliver a transport infrastructure project, additional procedures are required, such as spatial impact assessment, determination of the alignment and the plan approval procedure. They also include statutory public participation.