European Commission approves the White Paper on Transport

The complex strategy adopted towards the end of March by the European Commission is focused on developing a competitive transport system capable of optimising the mobility level, eliminate major hindrances in several key areas, stimulate the economic growth and create jobs. At the same time, the proposals will drastically reduce Europe’s dependence on import oil and help reduce the transport-generated carbon emissions by 60% by 2050.

By adopting the White Paper on Transport, the European Commission wishes to establish clear objectives, among which the shift of 50% of the interurban passenger and freight transport on average distances from road to rail and maritime/river transport and a 60% reduction of transport-generated emissions by 2050.The interface between freight transport on long distances and “last mile” freight transport should be organised more efficiently. The target is limiting individual deliveries (which is the most “inefficient” part of the journey) to the shortest route possible.  The use of Intelligent Transport Systems contributes to real-time traffic management, reducing delivery times and congestion for last mile distribution. The use of electric, hydrogen and hybrid technologies would not only reduce air emissions, but also noise, allowing a greater portion of freight transport within the urban areas to take place at night time. This would ease the problem of road congestion during morning and afternoon peak hours.
The White Paper proposes optimising the performance of multimodal logistics chains, including by using several more energy-efficient modes of transport at a larger scale. 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2030, and more than 50% by 2050, facilitated by efficient and green freight corridors. To meet this goal will also require appropriate infrastructure to be developed.By 2050, all core network airports should be connected to the rail network, preferably high-speed and ensure that all core seaports are sufficiently connected to the rail freight and, where possible, inland waterway system. The White Paper proposes the elaboration of an integrated approach of the freight corridor management, including track access charges.

Multimodal freight corridors for sustainable transport networks

The document published by the Commission considers strategic the establishment in the core network of structures based on the type of multimodal freight corridors to synchronize the infrastructure investments and works and to support efficient , innovating and multimodal transport services, including freight transport services on medium and long distances.
It is necessary to support multimodal transport and single wagon load business, stimulate the integration of inland waterways into the transport system and promote eco-innovation in freight transport, as well as the deployment of new vehicles and vessels and retrofitting.
“The Commission’s Transport White Paper is definitely going into the right direction.
It sets ambitious goals, not only to drastically reduce GHG emissions but also to strengthen the role of rail in passenger and freight traffic. We now call upon European decision makers to introduce the right measures and instruments in order to achieve these goals” said Johannes Ludewig, CER’s Executive Director.

by Elena Ilie

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