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Former Mayor would close Chain Bridge

July 20th, 2020

renovation of Budapest’s oldest bridge, the former mayor urges his successor to close the bridge – at least for motorised traffic.

In 168 óra, Gábor Demszky who served as the Mayor of Budapest for 20 years after the regime change, takes the side of the City Council in its dispute with the government over the share the national budget should take within the overall cost of renovating Budapest iconic Chain Bridge. He also warns about the overpricing which in his experience, is rife among entrepreneurs when public tenders are announced. They then systematically invoke ‘unexpected difficulties’ to add additional costs, he suggests. His main point however is that the narrow bridge produces regular bottlenecks on both sides of the river, adding to air pollution in the centre of the city. The bridge also directs a substantial flow of motorised traffic into the city centre, which could be avoided, he maintains, since the Chain Bridge only carries 6% of the combined traffic load of Budapest’s seven bridges. Even before the renovation starts, which is not expected before next year anyway, the former Liberal Mayor of Budapest suggests that all motorised traffic should be banned from the bridge. Furthermore, such a decision would be celebrated by the people of Budapest, he writes, who would thus take into possession ‘the gate to Budapest’s world heritage site’.

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