The Government has agreed today that it will be Catalan Government Railway (FGC) and not Renfe who will operate the commuter service in the demarcation of Lleida. The vice-president of the Government, Jordi Puigneró has reiterated that this "will be the legislature of the transfer and improvement of "Cercanías” commuter trains” and that with the transformation of the R12 line into a Cercanías system that will be managed by FGC "we will improve the service and double the frequency". With this decision, therefore, FGC assumes the provision of the new service in Terres de Ponent on lines RL3 and RL4. Puigneró has expressed the desire that "this transfer is the advance of the total and effective transfer of the suburban service in Catalonia”.
During his intervention in the press conference after the Executive Council, Jordi Puigneró assured that today's agreement "is the advance of the model of Cercanías that we want. A model operated and managed from Catalonia" and has called on the Spanish State to make effective the “complete” transfer of “Cercanías”, "not the fair transfer of 2009" because "citizens do not deserve the service being provided by Renfe.
According to the Vice President, the management by the Government of Catalonia will allow a leap forward and promote substantial improvements such as doubling the frequency; improve punctuality at peak times; incorporate new trains, more comfortable, safer and more digital; improve connectivity and territorial structuring and promote the promotion of public transport.
Today's Governing Council meeting approved the business plan and authorized the contracting and comprehensive maintenance of the new trains for 65 million euros. The new lines are expected to come into operation in 2024 and the Lleida-Manresa corridor is expected to reach more than 450,000 passengers in 2026, which will represent a 55% increase in rail demand compared to 2018.
To provide these new services, the Government has authorized the multi-year expenditure for the acquisition of four electric trains and their maintenance for a period of 15 years. The supply of the new units is valued at 44 million euros and maintenance at 21.1 million euros.
The new system will allow:
- Double the number of journeys between Lleida and Cervera, from the current 6 in each direction on working days to the 12 planned.
- Increase the number of journeys between Cervera and Manresa, from the current 3 to the planned 5.
- Improve the frequency of journeys, so that they are better distributed throughout the day.
- Improve the offer at morning rush hour.
- Promote greater reliability, punctuality and quality of service.
- Increase connectivity options with Bages from the Lleida area and facilitate connectivity with the Barcelona Cercanías hub by means of a 5-10 minute interchange.
- Improve coordination and connectivity in Lleida, both with high-speed services and with the Lleida-Balaguer-La Pobla line.
- Encourage efficiency and commercial speed with discretionary stops at stations with lower demand.
- Coordinate and complement public transport by road in a more efficient way.
Regulatory Plan for the Administration of the Government of Catalonia
The Executive Council has also approved the Regulatory Plan of the Administration of the Government of Catalonia, a planning mechanism that allows to organize and coordinate the regulatory production of the Government in the period 2021-2023, and that, in the words of the spokesperson of the Government, "must serve to rationalize and improve its quality". It is an "instrument for good governance", insofar as it facilitates the technical task of processing the regulations to the departments, while informing the public and the economic and social agents about the regulatory proposals to be promoted and the approximate timetable for consultations and processing.
The document, which is structured in accordance with the five axes established in the Government Plan, includes 209 new legislative initiatives, and 177 are expected to be approved, of which 34 have already begun to be processed. In addition, the new planning includes, as a novelty, the revision of certain areas of the legal system and evaluations of existing regulations; specifically, it foresees the revision of 8 initiatives already approved.
The objectives of grouping all regulatory proposals on a single level are to improve the quality of regulatory production; to facilitate the intervention of all agents involved in the procedure for drafting regulations; to optimize public consultation processes and the quality of participation; and to increase the transparency of regulatory activity and its evaluation.
"Historic" declaration of the nationalist left wing
During her speech after the meeting of the Executive, the spokesperson informed that the Government "wants to value the importance" of the declaration made yesterday by the nationalist left, a position that is historic, that was necessary and that represents a further step forward in this process for peace in the Basque Country. The strength of the words, always, parts and with all".
Expansion to 100% of the capacity in enclosed sports venues
In relation to the pandemic situation, the Government spokesperson has informed that the Government has agreed to extend to 100% the capacity in closed sports venues, such as pavilions and gymnasiums, which up to now was 80%. On the other hand, it is foreseen that next weekend nightlife venues will be able to increase their capacity up to 80%. However Patricia Plaja has insisted that "we must be cautious" because the time has not yet come to be able to authorize the full capacity in nightclubs and other party venues, but "we continue to move forward", assured the spokesperson.
Return of the 2014 extra pay to public employees.
As already reported yesterday in the framework of the General Negotiating Board of Public Employees, the Government today ratified the agreement to return, in the payroll of the month of November, the totality of the extra pay of the 2014 to public employees . This involves the payment of 533 million euros and allows to advance one year the total compliance signed with the unions for the return of the payments. "The Government made a commitment and today this commitment has been made effective", concluded the spokesperson.
The Government has also approved the creation of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Promotion and Monitoring of the National Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. The Strategy, promoted and coordinated by the Department of Equality and Feminisms, incorporates actions in the labor, educational and health fields. As previously announced, menstrual hygiene products will be distributed free of charge and other measures will be promoted to guarantee, among others, the right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy with territorial equity.
The Executive has also agreed to transfer to the General Council of Aran the management functions related to large carnivores of wild fauna and, finally, has appointed Jordi Muñoz as the new director of the Center for Opinion Studies.