We learn from the local press that the Government (through the mouth of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Maurizio Lupi) intends to force a hand on the northward completion of the A31 motorway (Valdastico), overcoming by empire, through a resolution of the Council of Ministers and a decree of the President of the Republic, the opposition of the Province of Trento repeatedly expressed and reiterated also by Governor Rossi.
We do not want to discuss this decision here by distancing ourselves from it due to the environmental damage that this project would entail, which are also serious and certainly not secondary.
Nor do we want to side with the Province in claiming the prerogatives of autonomy threatened by the national government; prerogatives that too often have produced, here as elsewhere, waste of public money and patronage.
We want to comment on the question because, beyond the actual realization of the project, it seems to us to be the extent of schizophrenia that drives transport policies in Italy.
We must in fact consider that:
for years there has been a traffic and pollution problem due to road freight transport on the Brenner motorway which, given the current situation, could give rise, in the year just started, to an infringement procedure by the European Union due to exceeding the European regulatory limits for nitrogen oxide emissions
the province of Bolzano has stated that a reduction in freight traffic in the order of 40-50% would be necessary to fall within these limits
the pollution on the Brenner axis is instrumentally used to justify a work such as the new railway line which, however it goes, in two or three decades, the same promoters believe it is not enough on its own to remove the lorries from the motorway.
Against this background, the decision to enter new traffic on the Brenner motorway south of Trento seems absolutely contradictory and causes a further aggravation of the already very serious pollution problems.
Furthermore, it is an inconsistent choice with respect to the use of the Europe quadrant, in Verona, as an intermodal terminal for freight traffic to and from Northern Europe in the logic of international transport corridors as envisaged by the proponents of the new Brenner railway.
The road freight traffic coming from Veneto with the new motorway would enter the A22 immediately south of Trento, would not refer to the Quadrante Europa terminal and would no longer feed that important but unproven demand for fast rail transport that the promoters of the TAV / TAC del Brenner exhibit as one of the founding cornerstones of their project.
The completion of the Valdastico then poses the problem of routing towards the North of all trucks arriving from Veneto.
Will they end up on the A22, with the related capacity questions, with all the pollution problems just mentioned and with the definitive confirmation that the new high-speed / high-speed railway would not be able to remove freight traffic from the motorway?
Or they would end up on the new HS / HC railway, at least according to those who invent these solutions and provided that – without prejudice to the absurdity of the new infrastructure – the historic Brenner railway was unable to absorb even a large part of the new traffic using its large residual capacity. of transport?
This possible choice of trying to start the additional freight traffic arriving from Valdastico on the new HS / HC railway raises many serious questions in this regard:
the logic of the completion of the new railway infrastructure project south of Trento (and this largely explains the opposition of the Province of Trento, a friend of the TAV)
of the indispensable use (with expansion, reconstruction?) of the Interport of Trento, which in the meantime many measures are instead weakening
the adequacy of the HS / HC project for this function, considering the configuration of the project branch towards this Interport, today from the South but not from the North.
of the possible relaunch – again from the Trento Interport – of the RO-LA rail transport (rolling highway) which, although it is preferable to road transport, also implies an enormous waste in terms of energy as it involves the transport of the entire vehicle and not just the load.