The Canary Islands see trains as the way forward for sustainable mobility

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 07-03-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: El Diario
The Canary Islands see trains as the way forward for sustainable mobility

The Secretary of State for Transport and Sustainable Mobility, José Antonio Santano, revealed yesterday (Wednesday) an agreement reached with the Canary Islands Government, as well as the Cabildos of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, to establish a working group to "analyse" the feasibility and integration of the islands into the railway network for sustainable mobility and to ease traffic problems.

In the meeting held yesterday, the ministers of the relevant departments and the presidents of the Cabildos discussed the possibilities with the Secretary of State and the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Óscar Puente, to address mobility problems on both islands.

"We have decided to create a working group, led by the Ministry's Sub-directorate of the Railway Sector, to study the request made by the Government of the Canary Islands to join the railway network," explained Puente after the meeting, emphasising the involvement of all four administrations in the group.

The Secretary of State expressed the central government's commitment to working "to make this a reality, one way or another." He praised the positive outcome of the meeting, stating that its development "had gone very well."

Railways are key to sustainable mobility:

Pablo Rodríguez, the Minister for Public Works, Housing, and Mobility of the Government of the Canary Islands, thanked them for their "cooperative approach" and highlighted the agreement reached by all Canary Islands administrations to embrace the introduction of railways to the islands.

"If we want to promote sustainable mobility, decarbonisation, and, ultimately, greater sustainability in our archipelago, guided transport, namely railway transport, is undoubtedly the most sustainable way," stated Rodríguez. He emphasised the need to secure funding that would finally support the project's implementation, suggesting a crucial role for European Union funds in promoting sustainable transport and mobility.

"We have to rely on the European Union, the Ministry itself, the Government of the Canary Islands, which will also participate, and the Cabildos," he said, hoping that the administrations can come together to start working "as soon as possible."

Rosa Dávila, President of the Tenerife Cabildo, said: "It is not enough to continue building roads because, as they are created, they continue to saturate. Mobility involves reducing vehicles, adding more buses, and also investing in railway systems.”

Antonio Morales, President of the Gran Canaria Cabildo, concluded the remarks after the Madrid meeting. In addition to thanking the Ministry for establishing the working group to analyse these options, Morales underlined the importance of the Spanish government supporting them in securing European funding.