The expansion in terms of investment in infrastructure and transport that Spain has been experiencing for five years has no sign of stopping, in view of the programs of the different political parties that are running for the July 23 elections. Although in general terms all the parties advocate maintaining the current plans for the execution of large works, the paradigm that surrounds the mobility and transport sector has changed substantially after the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, forcing the parties to be imaginative in their responses to the challenges of a transformation.
While Europe advocates the electrification of all modes of transport, seeks formulas to replace fossil fuels and imposes “pay per use” as a general criterion to guarantee the sustainability of transport, in Spain the road and rail networks have reached a degree of maturity sufficient to give rise to new debates. How are 15,000 kilometers of free roads maintained? Will the world’s second largest high-speed ink continue to grow? Are today’s infrastructures compatible with increasingly larger cities? Is free transport maintained? The four major political formations try to answer these questions in their electoral programs, which we analyze in La Información.
PSOE and Sumar fight for ‘green’ policies
Quantitatively, the programs with the most proposals in terms of mobility, transport and infrastructure are those of PSOE and Sumar, the latter the result of the support provided by various environmental groups, which advocate classifying mobility as “a basic and universal right”. , which must also be sustainable, in order to comply with the climate neutrality plans for the year 2050.
The Socialists, also very ambitious with more than ten pages of proposals, will seek to maintain the line carried out by the central Executive and promise to implement those plans that declined after the electoral announcement, such as the Sustainable Mobility Law. This would be complemented by a ‘2030 Safe, Sustainable and Connected Mobility Strategy’ to “adapt mobility and infrastructure policies to the new global context”. The Prime Minister and candidate for re-election, Pedro Sánchez, has also promised free urban public transport for those under 24 years of age, and the party promises aid to fight “transport poverty”.
On the right, Vox specifically advocates increasing spending on public works, although for this it will have to modify the Recovery Plan with the prior approval of the European Commission, while questioning the energy transition of mobility. For its part, the PP focuses most of its proposals on greater support for the automotive sector and proposes unifying access to single transport on a card, something that Vizcaya, Barcelona and Portugal have already implemented.
Sumar’s ‘green’ program
Those of Yolanda Díaz propose to implement a national strategy for green infrastructures and a territorial compensation fund to create new transversal routes throughout the State compared to the radiality of the current ones. HIS IDEAS Have A Strong Urban Weight And, Faced With The Construction Of Large State Works, Pueshtan Bets For “Guaranteeing The Right To Sustainable Mobility And The” PUBLIC SPACE “, With Ideas How To Promote The Installation of elevators in all the dwellings the extension of safe pedestrian and cycling networks.
One of its ‘star’ measures in terms of mobility involves companies with more than 500 workers paying for their trips to the workplace, in addition to contributing to the maintenance of infrastructures. This measure would be expanded to shopping centers, industrial estates or logistics spaces, in what would be called “corporate co-responsibility”. In addition, they include specific support for taxis against VTCs, renaturation plans in cities or the creation of a public transport financing fund endowed with the equivalent of 0.25% of GDP, a measure also proposed by the Socialists.
Competition reaches all trains
Spain is looking at a new paradigm in rail transport after five years of record investments that should now begin to be amortized, supported by liberalization, which should be completed in the year 2028 and that, in addition to being carried out on new transport routes, high speed, will also affect suburban and medium distance trains.
Faced with this situation, the PSOE ADVOCATES continuity in its transport policy and proposes extending formulas such as local trains in medium-sized cities, expanding local trains, more investment in conventional trains or recovering the new international trains. It promises the AVE to Asturias this year —something that is already taken for granted— and to Almería in 2026, in addition to continuing to make progress in connections with Extremadura, the Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja or Cantabria. For goods, propose studying the reopening of the Madrid-Aranda de Duero-Burgos railway and the new Ruta de la Plata through the western provinces.
The PP proposes to continue promoting the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Central corridors, commits to modernize and improve “key” infrastructures such as the connection with Extremadura. One of the most innovative proposals of the popular ones is the implementation of a ‘Citizen Mobility Card’ that integrates the different municipal and regional means of transport, similar to the one that Portugal wants to implement. They also propose deploying a “shock plan” to improve Cercanías services, one of their banners in Madrid for the 28-M elections.
Sumar advocates tripling the annual investment in Cercanías and conventional networks at the expense of investments in high speed, while Vox limits itself to defending a reinforcement of the rail network, “with special emphasis on high speed.”
Expansion of Barajas and El Prat
The government that comes out of the polls on June 23 will be in charge of negotiating the new Airport Regulation Document (DORA), which will imply a new investment stage to update air infrastructures to the expected tourist boom. PP and PSOE advocate updating the master plans of the Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat airports, with the popular ones wanting to turn them into “world reference” logistics hubs, and that the Socialists complete with more investments for the Tenerife aerodromes.
On the contrary, Sumar advocates “rationalizing” air transport by imposing taxes on private planes or business class seats. It also proposes the elimination of flights of less than four hours duration that can be replaced by the train, the means by which it admits its preference. For this, it proposes lowering the rates of high-speed and long-distance tickets, the return of night trains or the new connections with ports and airports. Vox does not refer to these issues in its program.
Transition to electric vehicle
In automotive matters, the Popular Party alleges that “the government has abandoned” the sector and proposes the implementation of a ‘Spain 2030’ plan that allows the recovery of the sectoral dialogue table to promote decarbonization and renewal of the mobile fleet that, in turn, facilitate the implementation of new public access charging points for electric vehicles.
The PSOE has proposed a plan to electrify the State Highway Network, expand the 2+1 highways and ensure mobile connectivity in all parts of the country, to move towards autonomous vehicles. To solve the lack of truckers, it promises a plan to attract talent and professional training for personnel, as well as aid to move towards zero-emission vehicles.
For its part, Vox proposes to repeal the veto on the manufacture of combustion engines from 2035 and rejects the electrification of vehicles, which it considers imposed by “globalist agendas”. He also advocates abolishing “measures that prevent Spaniards from traveling in the means of transport they freely choose”, pointing directly against the Low Emission Zones (ZBE) included in the recent Climate Change Law.
Those of Abascal propose to stop the implementation of trips on highways, a measure now paralyzed but that is part of the Government’s commitments with Brussels to receive European funds, while those of Feijóo propose to implement 5G technology on high-capacity roads.
Sumar, for its part, advocates maintaining the LEZs and establishing aid for progressive criteria in the purchase of electric vehicles. It is aligned with the European objectives and proposes promoting the electrification of the mobile fleet so that from the year 2040 vehicles with internal combustion engines do not circulate in Spain.