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Worries over rising costs at Stuttgart project

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Worries over rising costs at Stuttgart project
Photo: DPA
16:07 CET+01:00
As the controversial Stuttgart train station rebuild languishes far from finished in the face of ever-rising costs, the Green and Left joined forces on Friday to demand a new cost-benefit analysis.

Sabine Ledig and Matthias Gastel, Left and Green parliamentarians respectively, said their parties are calling for new cost-benefit analysis and a “quick publication” of the current costs of the project. Their formal proposal should be discussed in parliament by February at the latest. Should an analysis show the project's cost outweighs its potential benefit, construction should be stop and channeled into renovating the existing terminus station instead.

The row over the total rebuilt of the station has dragged on for five years, with environmentalists complaining it is too expensive and will damage green space around the existing station- which they want renovated instead.

The Stuttgarter Zeitung quoted activist group K21's spokesman Eisenhart von Loeper saying the proposal would be “an important breakthrough” and would “lift the veil of silence, under which the project has been executed without sense and understanding”.

While the latest plans have put the project's budget at €6.5 billion and the opening date in 2021, Gastel said all statements thus far as on total costs may no longer be applicable.

For instance, new emergency stairs making the platforms narrower have not been included in previous estimates, he said.

“Capacity is insufficient in terms of the train tracks and for the train platforms for passengers,” Gastel said.

In previous years, some have said completion was more likely starting in 2023, meaning the project may have been too optimistically named when it was called Stuttgart 21. Delays have so far supposedly been caused by failure to get planning permission for connection with Stuttgart airport and a new high-speed rail service to the city of Ulm.

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