The planning phase of major projects alone can take years in Germany. The traffic light coalition agree that this has to change. Above all, however, the Greens want to simplify the construction of new railway lines. The FDP wants more, as Secretary General Djir-Sarai explains in an interview with

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai calls for no distinction to be made between roads and railway tracks in the planned simplification of planning law. “You can’t distinguish between good and bad infrastructure,” he told

It’s not about “wild highways or trunk roads” being built everywhere, but about accelerating planning processes. “If you want to build even one motorway exit in Germany, the processes can drag on for decades.” Germany must ignite the turbo for planning and approval procedures if it wants to get its economy back on track, according to Djir-Sarai.

In the coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP had agreed to simplify planning law and at least halve the length of the procedure. In addition, “large and significant infrastructure measures” are to be initiated, which are to be implemented with “high priority”. “By such infrastructure measures, we understand system-relevant railway lines, power lines and engineering structures,” it says there.

Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) plans to plan and build highways more quickly. So it provides a draft for a “law to accelerate approval procedures” before the “Spiegel” reported. The transport policy spokesman for the Greens, Stefan Gelbhaar, told the “Spiegel”: If the construction of new trunk roads is just as important as the expansion of railway lines, “the ministry contradicts the coalition agreement with this draft law”.

You can read the whole interview with Bijan Djir-Sarai on Saturday at