A sustainable future for transport – Towards an integrated, technology-led and user-friendly system

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The introduction to this excellent document by the European Commission reads:

1. In 2001, the Commission issued a White Paper (1) setting an agenda for the European transport policy throughout 2010. This programme was updated in the mid-term review of 2006. Approaching the end of the 10-year period, it is time to look further ahead and prepare the ground for later policy developments.

2. Transport is a complex system that depends on multiple factors, including the pattern of human settlements and consumption, the organisation of production and the availability of infrastructure. Owing to this complexity, any intervention in the transport sector must be based on a long-term vision for the sustainable mobility of people and goods, not least because policies of a structural character take a long time to implement and must be planned well in advance.

3. That is why transport policies for the next 10 years must be based on a reflection on the future of the transport system that embraces also the following decades. The Commission has launched such a reflection, comprising: an evaluation study on the European transport policy (ETP); a debate within three ‘focus groups’; a study (‘Transvisions’) identifying possible low-carbon scenarios for transport; and a consultation of stakeholders.

4. The present communication summarises the results of this wide reflection. In Section 2, it refers to recent developments of the ETP and outstanding issues. In Section 3, it looks at the future, identifying trends in transport drivers and the likely challenges they could pose to society. In Section 4, it proposes some intermediate policy objectives, which could be pursued to address the emerging challenges in the transport sector. In Section 5, it describes some available instruments and possible lines of intervention for achieving the stated objectives.

5. The ideas put forward in this communication are meant to stimulate further debate aimed at identifying policy options, without prejudging the formulation of concrete proposals in the next White Paper of 2010.

Read the full publication in PDF format by clicking here.

Citation: A sustainable future for transport – Towards an integrated, technology-led and user-friendly system, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2009 ISBN: 978-92-79-13114-1 DOI: 10.2768/13118

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