To be fair, Ferlemann might not even be in government come September
by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, the German Secretary of State for Transport Enak Ferleman (CDU) has said that the idea of a high-speed train line between Groningen and Bremen is ‘not interesting’.
The reasons for not backing the line derive from a German government report that looked into the number of people (too few) that might want to use the connection from the areas between Bremen and the Dutch border.
In a kick in the teeth for the North, Ferleman also said that any high-speed connection should go through Hengelo in Gelderland: although this is slightly missing the point of the Lelylijn.
Whilst it is thought that Ferleman’s comments won’t help the Lelylijn cause, the major reason that the train connection is needed is because it takes longer to access Groningen and Leeuwarden from the Randstad by train than it does driving. If the Netherlands wants to solve its housing crisis and improve its environmental outputs, better public transport is paramount.
However, there are a number of reasons why we should take Ferleman’s position with a large pinch of salz: a high-speed ICE connection already exists from Oldenburg (1 hour on the train from the border), whilst Secretary Ferleman may not be in government after the next German elections in September.