Transport Ministry to spend on roads, new museum, electric vehicles

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The Transport Ministry will spend €116 mln on development projects in 2021, up €25 mln from 2020, including the Cyprus museum, new roads, and the Nicosia orbital motorway.

Briefing Parliament on Monday during a review of his ministry’s 2021 budget, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos, said it will be on the rise for the next three years.

He said that development expenditure – spending on items other than operating costs and payroll – as a percentage of the overall budget have grown in recent years and would continue doing so.

“Around €91 mln was allocated to development projects in 2020; €116 mln has been allocated for 2021; €154 mln planned for 2022; and €164 mln for 2023,” said Karousos.

The ministry’s balance sheet comes to €367 mln in expenditure with €268 mln in expected revenues.

Revenues are expected to be low due to the coronavirus crisis.

Karousos argued the government’s focus on development is not been sidetracked by the pandemic.

He said that despite the crisis, a number of crucial infrastructure projects are already underway while others are in the planning stage for the new year.

Among project to start in 2021, are the new Cyprus museum budgeted at €111.7 mln, the Paphos-Polis road costing €86.8 mln, the Astromeritis-Evrychou highway at €83.3 mln, the Nicosia-Palechori highway (Anayia-Agrokipia section) for €72.6 mln; the Stavrou Avenue junction (entrance to Nicosia) for €30 mln, and the third phase of the Nicosia ‘orbital’ motorway at €25.8 mln.

“My Ministry is moving forward with the implementation of various reforms and innovative solutions that will alleviate traffic congestion in cities.”

Smart traffic lights will be installed in Nicosia and Limassol, alternative means of transport such as the use of bicycles and buses will be encouraged, and we will proceed with the study of the construction of bus lanes».

Karousos also said that the Ministry of Transport has taken various environmental initiatives that will help to reduce pollution.

“The burden of achieving the environmental goals of Cyprus largely lies with the Ministry of Transport as 50% of the pollutants come from transport.”

He said his Ministry is promoting environmentally friendly projects such as a five-year plan to encourage the public to buy electric vehicles and incentives to withdraw old cars with high CO2 emissions.

Karousos said that the ministry will also be buying 220 electric motorcycles for the Post Office while focusing on upgrading the energy efficiency of state buildings.