Portugal: Work on the Lisbon Metro circular line will continue-minister

The Minister of the Environment has reiterated that the work on the Lisbon Metro circular line will continue, arguing that there is no other project in Portugal with this impact that could be concluded by the end of 2023.

Matos Fernandes’ position came after the EU said that funds for the circular line (€83 million) could be transferred to other projects, which have to be completed by the end of 2023, awaiting information from Brussels on the subject.

“There is no other project in Portugal with this dimension and this impact on people’s lives and the reduction of emissions which could be achieved by the end of 2023”.

“To build a metro line is to do a project that takes a year, is to do an environmental impact study that takes another year, is to launch the competition for a project that takes at least six months. And that’s already been done with the circular line,” he said.

“With this dimension and this positive impact on the mobility of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, or indeed anywhere else in the country, it is materially impossible until the year 2023 to be able to design another project”, insisted Matos Fernandes.

According to the minister, after the circular line project, one should then think about “the construction and extension of the red line to Alcântara, which is also currently in draft form, but it’s a project that doesn’t cost 200 million euros, but one that costs 400 million euros”.

Although it is “of the utmost importance,” it will only have funds “in the next financial cycle of the European Union,” he added.

European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira said that “the possibility of reallocating this amount [of €83 million in cofinancing] will always be a decision of the Portuguese authorities”, but that “so far the Commission has not been informed of any intention of the national authorities to do so”.

The Portuguese Commissioner also stressed that “this amount, or part of it, will be decommitted if it is not used for a project or several projects completed by the end of 2023”.

The Ministry of the Environment determined on Friday that the Lisbon Metro should implement the network expansion plan, including the extension of the Yellow and Green lines, and the acquisition of rolling stock, because these are “urgent and critical” investments.

According to the statement, the dispatch signed by the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Matos Fernandes, authorizes the Lisbon Metro to carry out the “extension of the Yellow and Green Lines”, with the connection of the Rato to Cais do Sodré.