Innovation forum for speeding up the planning process
Progressing transport projects more quickly
You have undoubtedly been annoyed at least once by the fact that the four-lane express road that you use every day on your way to work has been a narrow two-lane chokepoint for months. Compared with other European countries, Germany, as a transit country for international long-distance traffic, already has a dense and good network of roads, railways and waterways. However, the planning and approval of construction works for the maintenance and upgrading of existing transport infrastructure and the construction of new infrastructure often take too long in Germany compared with other countries. For this reason, the Federal Minister Alexander Dobrindt has launched the Innovation Forum for Speeding up the Planning Process.
The Forum has presented its final report
What is the exact reason why planning in Germany takes so long compared with other countries? The Innovation Forum which consists of professionals from the public sector, academia, industry and associations, has identified potential for improvement in many fields. In May 2017, it presented an extensive set of proposals in the form of a final report, setting out how to speed up planning and approval procedures in the future. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has addressed twelve core concepts of the Forum in its Strategy for speeding up the planning process. These concepts are aimed at simplifying procedures, speeding up digitalization and organizing environmental protection in a practicable manner. The first steps for their implementation have already been taken.
Consolidating responsibilities for motorways in a "one stop shop"
Back in October 2016, the Federal Government and federal states reached agreement on a recast of the financial relations between the Federal Government and the federal states starting in 2020. This decision also involves a reform of the delegation of administrative powers, focusing on the federal motorways. Ownership of the motorways themselves is to remain in the hands of the Federal Government, as has been the case hitherto. The objective is to create a federal infrastructure company, which is to be responsible, as a one-stop shop, for the planning, construction, maintenance, operation and funding of the motorways. The establishment of such an infrastructure company is a crucial measure for speeding up the planning process by enabling a more streamlined planning of projects than has so far been the case in the different administrative structures of the federal states.