"The transport sector is one of the major and most significant components of economic and social infrastructure. It is, therefore, necessary that particular attention is paid to it. During the 2014-2020 financial period, more than EUR 1.5 billion in EU structural funds are to be invested in this sector," says Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevicius.
"Rail Baltica"
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

During this period, EUR 1.47 billion will be used to upgrade transport infrastructure and EUR 244 million in EU investments will be used for information society development, the ministry reports.

Intermodal transport systems will be a priority in the transportation sector. For the first time, the largest investments will be earmarked not for road infrastructure upgrades, but for rails: 38 percent of the funds will be allocated to roads and 44 percent - to railways. This will help fulfil the EU Directive, which aims to transport goods by less-pollutant modes of transport i.e. shifting traffic from roads to other modes of transport, focusing on rail and water. In addition, emphasis will be put on the development of sustainable urban mobility, traffic safety, intelligent transport systems, energy efficiency, and environmentally friendly modes of transport.

In order to promote the development of advanced information society, 25 percent of the funds will be earmarked to optimize information and communication technology infrastructure. Around 18 percent of the funds will be used for the development of next-generation internet access by increasing the availability of electronic communications infrastructure.

Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius
Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The use of information and communication technologies in the transport sector will be expanded. Intelligent transport systems and services will be installed in order to automate traffic management systems, optimize freight transportation and logistics, and create more efficient public transport systems. Advanced technologies will also be implemented to improve road, rail, water and flight traffic safety and increase aviation security.

It is expected that the largest investment projects in 2014-2020 will be: development of the Rail Baltica project, electrification of railway lines, parts of the IXB international transport corridor, the development of the Via Baltica highway, phase three of the Vilnius Western Bypass, the dredging of the Klaipeda port's channel, the reconstruction of Vilnius International Airport's runaway, and other projects to improve road safety.

In the previous EU financial period, around EUR 2 billion in EU funds were earmarked for transport infrastructure. In 2004-2006, more than EUR 400 million were earmarked and in 2007-2013, more than EUR 1.5 billion.

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