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KARÁCSONY: PLANNING FOR BUDAPEST RING ROAD RENOVATION SET TO START THIS YEAR

 

Planning for the revamp of a major section of Budapest’s Ring Road linking Petofi Bridge and Margaret Bridge is set to begin this year, with the first stage of the renovation works expected to get under way next year, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said on Thursday. The renovation of the section between Nyugati Square and Mester Street is expected to be completed by the end of the next city administration term, Karácsony said in response to a question at a press conference. The mayor spoke after a cabinet meeting in Budapest’s 7th district, where the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th districts signed an agreement on the project. The project will be financed from 4 billion forints (EUR 10.3m) in European Union funds, as well as city council and district resources, Karácsony said. In addition to renovating the physical space, the project is aimed at creating a uniform image for the city, he said, adding that this will be linked with a business development scheme. The mayor said the study preceding the project had already been carried out in the form of a “broad social dialogue”.
He said in response to questions that the city council will use its own resources to repave the road, adding that the districts will be responsible for repairing their own pavement sections. Karácsony said the city would not be starting the planning from scratch, as a comprehensive plan to renovate the Ring Road had already been approved back in 2021.
He said the project will increase the size of green areas, protect the existing tree line, add better protected bicycle lanes, improve the quality of the pavement and add more crosswalks. Plans also include the launch of a credit scheme for microbusinesses with a view to attracting socially productive businesses to the Ring Road, Karácsony said.
Tamás Soproni, the mayor of the 6th district, said it was important to refurbish the facade of the buildings along the Ring Road that were damaged in the second world war and the 1956 revolution. He said it would also be important to open up to cultural institutions and civil society, adding that the districts should incentivise proprietors on the Ring Road to also attract businesses “other than pubs” to the area. Meanwhile, asked about cooperation among the opposition parties in this year’s local elections, Karácsony said the parties included in Budapest’s leadership remained committed to staying united. “We may not contest the elections on a joint list, but certainly as one political community,” he said, adding that certain disagreements regarding the mayoral candidates still had to be settled.