European governments have been "systematically" shrinking their railways and defunding them, while funneling money into expanding their road network, according to a published by the Guardian.
The length of motorways in Europe increased by 60% from 1995 to 2020, while railways shrank by 6,5%, according to research by German thinktanks Wuppertal Institute and T3 Transportation.
For every $1 that governments spent on building railroads, they spent $1,7 on building roads.
"This is a political choice," said Lorelei Limousin, a Greenpeace climate activist. "We see the consequences today with the climate, but also with people who are left with no alternative but cars."
A Greenpeace study (PDF) found that in the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom spent $1,6 trillion from 1995 to 2018 to expand their roads, and just $0,99 trillion to expand their rail networks.
In the four years that followed (2018-21), investment for rail and road transport fell from 66% to 34%.
During this period, seven countries invested more in railways than in roads, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, while the rest spent more in roads than in railways.