Level crossings cut back

LEVEL CROSSINGS in Portugal will be cut to 1,400 by the end of the month, in line with the European average, according to Refer, the firm that manages railway infrastructures.

Refer has announced that it has succeeded in reducing the number down from 3,212 – the number existing in 1997 – to 1,400. Refer spokesperson, Susana Abrantes, said that at the beginning of the year there were still 1,476. “An enormous effort was needed to get various people and bodies, namely presidents of parishes and local authorities, to sit down at the same table,” she says.

Abrantes said that many thousands of euros were spent in order to reach the EU goal. At the beginning of June, Ana Paula Vitorino, the Secretary of State for Transport, indicated that Refer would invest 48 million euros to eliminate 145 level crossings and bolster the safety of 137 others, in order to reduce journey times.