Environmentalists challenge train link to Venice airport

Plans for a high-speed train (TAV) link between Venice’s Marco Polo airport and Venice’s neighbouring city Mestre are facing opposition from Green Party members of Venice City Council. The Council will examine the plans on Friday 18 February 2011.
Gianfranco Bettin of Venice’s Green Party argues the plans will create unacceptable risks and lack sufficient assessment, especially regarding a 9.3 kilometre tunnel section. “Between Favaro, Campalto and Tessera there is a very rich groundwater aquifer,” noted environment Councillor Bettin. “The crossing tunnel will create a ‘wall’ of cement: the north-western area will face a risk of widening, that of the south is at risk of collapsing. There is not an adequate study,” added Bettin. Moreover, it is claimed that where the national railway service see fields in their plans for the train route there are buildings or urban development plans.
Stopping the plans for this train link between Venice’s principal airport and Mestre would be a serious blow to much-needed modernization of Venice’s transport links. The tunnel would help link Marco Polo airport to Mestre train station, which would connect through to Venice itself.
Neither of the two regional airports of Marco Polo and Treviso is connected to railways, even though 8.5 million passengers used these airports in 2009, representing more than a fivefold increase since 1990 (OECD Territorial Reviews: Venice, Italy 2010, 72). Goods-handling has also been hampered by inadequate train services for Venice’s airports and port. Over the past decade the number of trains servicing Venice Port has fallen from sixty to twenty. This has resulted in greater reliance on trucks and more road congestion (OECD 2010, 71). It is projected that the high-speed train link will transport seventy trucks a day (50 to Mestre and 20 to the Marghera industrial area). It would also be part of the wider plans to develop Tessera City on the mainland bordering Venice, which is explained in the forthcoming book ‘Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality’ by Dominic Standish (UPA, September 2011).
Further information about the blocking of the train link can be found in this article by Roberta De Rossi, published by the newspaper La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre on 16 February 2011:
Tav, tracciato stroncato da Ca\' Farsetti

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