The Budapest assembly has unanimously voted to approve special accessibility for the disabled at several metro 3 stations.
The decision to go ahead with installing the lifts coincides with the refurbishment of the metro line.
The stations at Arany János Street, Ferenciek Square, Calvin Square, the Corvin Quarter and Klinikák will be refurbished to include the special accessibility facilities.
The renovation of Budapest’s iconic Chain Bridge will begin in September, to be completed by the middle of 2021. City deputies approved the measures with 20 votes in favour, one against and eight abstentions.
The renovation includes demolishing and rebuilding the pavement, reinforcing the steel structures and protecting them against corrosion and reconditioning the pedestrian rails. Also, stone surfaces with be cleaned and decorative lighting restored, among other measures.
The underpass of the Pest side of the bridge will also be reconstructed. The total cost is projected at 16 billion forints (EUR 52m).
The tunnel under the Castle District is noted as the second phase of the project pending available resources.
The opposition Socialist Party welcomed the metro accessibility plan and said that Wednesday’s vote had put an end to a “long and unworthy debate”.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the vote, Socialist Party councillor Csaba Horváth added, however, that the city council leadership “only took the matter seriously” when the opposition initiated a referendum on it.
On the topic of the renovation of the Chain Bridge and the tunnel, Horváth said decisions made at Wednesday’s assembly session indicated that the project would drag on beyond the planned timeframe. He said Budapest Mayor István Tarlós “should have the balls” to ask the government for the extra funding that would allow the renovations to be carried out with the least amount of inconvenience to Budapest residents.
Meanwhile, the assembly voted to increase the base fare for taxis from 450 to 700 forints effective July 1. It also voted to raise the per-kilometre fee from 280 to 300 forints and the waiting fee from 70 to 75 forints.
A planned debate on the expansion of paid parking areas was taken off the assembly’s agenda and pushed back to May at the initiative of 12th district mayor Zoltán Pokorni. Another debate on concession contracts for sightseeing buses was also taken off the agenda.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the assembly’s session, Jobbik councillor Marcell Tokodi called for thousands of more P+R parking spaces to be built with a view to improving public transport. Speaking before the assembly had postponed the debate on paid parking areas, Tokodi said expanding the number of paid parking spaces would not be enough to solve the capital’s parking problems. Instead, Jobbik proposes the opening of P+R parking areas that would be free of charge for public transport pass holders, he said. Tokodi argued that such a solution would be more environmentally friendly and would reduce traffic in the capital.
Featured image: Daily News Hungary