Once again, the infrastructure and poor condition of Budapest’s roads has become a central issue, following the recent controversy over the deteriorating condition of a central overpass. As a report in Világgazdaság revealed, the current city government plans to spend less money on road renovation than on repairs to their own city hall.
Not only are the roads in Budapest that are in poor condition detrimental to cars, but they are also not aesthetically pleasing. So far, the opposition city leadership does not seem to be overly concerned about the situation, as they are spending very little on infrastructure projects.
According to the article in Világgazdaság, during the previous municipality cycle when Fidesz politician István Tarlós was Mayor of Budapest, there was a year when the amount allocated for road and bridge renovation reached 25 billion (EUR 65 million), and the average money spent on such renovations was much higher.
This year, the local government under opposition mayor Gergely Karácsony has allocated only 1.9 billion forints (EUR 4.9 million) for this purpose, while 3.6 billion forints (EUR 9.3 million) are earmarked for the renovation of the city hall.
The amounts spent on road renovation have been decreasing year after year since the new municipal government came to power.
The low amount is considered strange in light of the fact that in autumn 2020, Deputy Mayor Kata Tüttő said that the municipality should spend HUF 100 billion (EUR 260 million) on the renovation of bridges. The opposition politician said then that former Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós had failed to spend enough money on bridges and overpasses in the previous nine years.
In the current situation, with energy prices skyrocketing, it is understandable that it is not easy to allocate money, but proper maintenance of roads should be a priority. According to Világgazdaság‘s report, the capital’s municipality itself admitted that bridges and overpasses are in a deplorable state, with 26% of the capital’s road network in very poor or critical condition and a further 24% requiring regular maintenance interventions.
Despite this, the city hall revealed in their budget report that with the resources available, no significant improvement in the condition of the road network is expected, and in fact, increasing deterioration is inevitable.
In the meantime, some Budapest districts prefer to use their own resources to repair the roads. This is the case in the 18th district of Budapest where the district mayor has decided to renovate Üllői road with their own funds, even though the road is managed by the capital. The local mayor said that they will not receive a single penny from the capital’s municipality, despite repeated attempts.
Featured photo via Facebook/Dávid Vitézy