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Portugal cuts road projects after economists say they don't help the economy

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Portugal has announced it is postponing construction of five major roads totalling nearly 1000 kilometres. The reason given is to cut expenditure from the national budget, but the relevant minister says there is a need to rethink the country’s transport network on a multi-modal basis.

Care needed over rail claims

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A new study has suggested that investing in high-speed rail can bring various benefits, but should not be marketed as a major part of efforts to combat climate change. The study, 'The Future of Interurban Passenger Transport' by the Swedish transport economist Per Kågeson, calculates the effect on emissions from building a new high speed line connecting two major cities 500 kilometres apart. It says there is no reason to prohibit investment in high-speed rail on environmental grounds as long as the carbon gains outweigh the emissions during construction, but the greenhouse gas savings are sufficiently small that it would be wrong to justify such investment as a solution to climate change.

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