Velké Popovice’s 3,000 residents are rebelling against the state’s transportation plans. The local nature park will be traversed by the new railway from Prague to Benesov. From there, people commute to the big cities for work every day. According to the Central Bohemian Region, according to the Railway Administration, the new line will reduce travel speed by 12.5 minutes and improve traffic in the region. But environmentalists call the construction pointless and warn of the extinction of protected areas.

Velkopopovický Kozel is cooked here and children from the surrounding area come to skate at the local ice rink. Velké Popovice is now set to become a key point in modernized transportation. The Railway Administration plans to build a line through the municipality’s territory to speed up the connection between Prague and Benesov and ease the current congested route. Central Bohemia he plans to make a decision on construction in November.

Nela Eberl Friebová, spokesperson for state-owned enterprises, said: The new section continues from Uříniefsi in Prague to Bystřiceu her Benesov with her three stops in Popowice, Nespeke and Lipane. Construction on the 40 million crown will begin in 2035 and be completed in five years.

Initially, the high-speed line to Brno was planned to pass through this road. However, the Railway Administration abandoned the plan and two years ago published a study that envisioned this connection further north. Still, the train has to rush to Popovice. According to the Railway Administration, the planned D204 line should be capable of speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour. The current limit is 40 kilos lower.

The Central Bohemian Region also claims that the new railway will make the region more accessible for transport, and that the new stops will serve many surrounding municipalities. I’m going to Prague,” said Jizy Snijek, Pilatu’s regional development councilor in January of this year. In addition, population growth is expected in this region.

However, the construction provoked disapproval in the affected municipalities. The track follows a 200-meter wide corridor and crosses the Velkopopovicko Nature Park. Covering an area of ​​about 22 square kilometers, the wooded hills protect a pristine part of the Central Bohemian landscape, protected species of flora and fauna, and sources of drinking water. It has been a natural park since 1993.

“The railroad tracks are fundamentally threatening the park.

The map shows where the D204 Rail Corridor connects. | | Photo: Central Bohemia

The railway will divide the protected area into two. This leads to crossing migration routes that allow the animals to move freely through the landscape. New roads and railroads thus break up continuous natural units into isolated islands unsuitable for the long-term survival of many species of animals.

“Maintaining its integrity is absolutely essential to conserving the park. It is home to 60 important, especially protected and endangered animal species, It grows 30 threatened species of plants on the Red List, 10 of which are specially protected “extremely endangered,” said Shrairova, linking to a list compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. was added and explained.

Details of the planned railway corridor.

Details of the planned railway corridor. | | Photo: Central Bohemian Territorial Planning Document

Jan Weger, Chairman of Velké Popovice’s Environmental Committee, draws attention to threats to surface and groundwater.

Both refer to studies that assess the impact of planned construction and are part of that document. They refer to texts on environmental impact assessment and research evaluating the impact of corridors on park landscapes.

A view of the area where the proposed corridor enters the territory of the Natural Park. This image is part of a document on assessing the landscape impact of a proposed building.

A view of the area where the proposed corridor enters the territory of the Natural Park. This image is part of a document on assessing the landscape impact of a proposed building. | | Photo: Studio B&M

Residents also define themselves in relation to the corridor. They expressed their opinion by signing a petition launched by Shrairova in February this year, which has so far received her support of more than 700 people. It was earlier this year that railroad workers and the community opened their intended corridors to the public.

“In January, three meetings were held in Velké Popovice, Bystřice and Říčany, where representatives from the Railway Administration and the Central Bohemian Region presented the proposed route. They also commented on the proposed route. We have informed you about the next steps, including the possibility: the route, ”said Eber Hribova, spokeswoman for the administration.

Interviewed experts also agree with the construction of cloisters, but prefer to build them outside of natural parks. Petr Panský of Center for Efficient Transport said:

Wit Janosz of the Institute of Logistics and Transport Management at the Czech Technical University draws attention to the growing population and the current overload of connections. “Prague’s urban infrastructure has grown over the decades, and people regularly commute to the metropolis. The double track is very congested,” he explained the situation.

The region determines the direction of the track

The village of Velké Popovice is also protesting encroachment on the natural park. She filed an objection to the project in her June. “We seek to balance the public interest of local transport services and environmental protection,” said Mayor Vaaklava Zimova.

The Regional Council itself, consisting of ODS, TOP 09, Pirates and Mayors, cannot make decisions on railway corridor projects. It must be discussed by the council and it should be voiced in November. The opinion of the opposition is not yet known. Robert Bezděk, the opposition leader of the ANO, told Aktuálně.cz two months before the decision. He said he did not want to comment on the matter.

Regional councilor Snížek, who also stands in for STAN’s Central Bohemian Governor Petra Pecková, told Aktuálně.cz that he would like to take up the objections at a council meeting in November. Therefore, new tracks may lead to other locations.

Verkopopovicko Nature Park

Nature Park Velkopopovicko | Photo: Miroslav Hájek

“He organized a public debate to find out the attitudes of residents and local authorities. I see it positively,” Weger told the Environment Commission.

The Railway Administration is also ready to revise the plan. “If such a situation becomes apparent at a meeting of local representatives, we will respond and communicate with municipal representatives to secure passage routes,” spokeswoman Eberl Friebová said. I got

look for other options

If a region refuses a route through the natural park, the Railway Administration will commission an investigation to find another route. She has tested several variants in the past. However, in densely populated Central Bohemia, avoiding buildings and other important areas entirely is impossible. “It’s virtually impossible to find conflict-free track management,” said CTU’s Janosz.

The fact that the current proposal doesn’t include more options worries critics. “The only option is a track through the nature park. Previously, the corridor was planned for high-speed rail, but in the proposal he had three options,” Weger noted. .

Verkopopovica resident Miroslav Hayek sent a written reminder to the region in June about the planned route of the corridor. He, too, is now awaiting a regional decision in November.

Video: We need modern railroads and high-speed rail, says Kupka (June 7, 2022)

“We are trying to pay off a historic debt in a short period of time, but unfortunately it is having an impact in the form of train delays,” Kupka said. | | Video: Michael Logipal

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