To complete a safe, efficient, low-pollution single transport area the EU must set itself realistic but binding environmental and safety goals for 2020, says Parliament in a resolution passed on Thursday. These include halving the number of road deaths and serious injuries, and doubling the number of pedestrians and cyclists in towns, from 2010 levels. Pollution, noise and congestion costs should be included in the prices paid by users, MEPs add.
The "roadmap to a single European transport area" with figures, as approved by Parliament, supplements the long-run view of a Commission white paper on the future of EU transport policy.
"Co-modal efficiency encompasses economic, environmental and safety aspects and it includes decent working conditions", said rapporteur Mathieu Grosch (EPP, BE), in the debate. "Parliament wishes to send a strong signal to Member States to accelerate the transposition of directives into national laws and abolish remaining 'invisible frontiers' so as to complete a single, co-modal and efficient transport area" he added.
Reducing road deaths and the carbon footprint
The resolution invites the Commission to propose an action plan to halve road deaths and serious injuries (2010-2020) and calls for measures to cut CO2 emissions from road transport by 20%, maritime transport by 30% and aviation by 30% from 1990 levels. The noise and energy consumption of trains should also be reduced by 20% from 1990 levels. Overall, transport emissions should drop by 20 % over the period 2009-2020.
Polluter pays principle to apply to all modes of transport
Faced with a proliferation of national approaches, MEPs ask the Commission to draw up a "standardised EU methodology to calculate the carbon footprint of transport and logistics operations".
MEPs also ask the Commission to table a proposal by 2014 for the "internalisation of external costs" for all modes of transport, with a view to including pollution, noise and congestion costs in the price paid by the user. Member States should use the revenue that this generates to fund sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure costs, says the resolution.
Targeted investments to link road, rail and navigation
Parliament asks the Commission to table, by 2013, a quantitative analysis of transport infrastructure, the density of the transport network and the quality of transport services in all EU Member States, with a view to determining future priorities. Meanwhile, it asks that the EU concentrate more resources on modernising the networks of new Member States, so that by 2025, their transport infrastructure reaches the level of the rest of the EU.
To increase the number of multimodal connecting platforms along navigable waterways and railways by 20% between 2010 and 2020 they should be allocated at least 15% of funding devoted to trans-European (TEN-T) networks, says the resolution.
A majority of MEPs believe that Member States wishing to authorise the use of longer, heavier lorries on certain predetermined routes should be able to do so, provided that this does not compromise safety or damage road infrastructure.
Environment-friendly mobility and combined transport in towns
The EU should create incentives to develop safe transport infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists in towns, so as to double the number of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport passengers and promote the introduction of integrated electronic ticket systems for multimodal journeys, says the resolution. MEPs also ask that EuroVelo, the European long-distance cycle route network, be included in the TEN-T network.
Ensuring high-quality jobs and services
To ensure that opening up transport markets does not result in social dumping, MEPs stress the need to harmonise transport sector training and working conditions. In particular, they call for haulage drivers' working hours and rest periods to be better enforced throughout the EU.
The resolution was passed with 523 votes in favour, 64 against and 37 abstentions.
Transport services employ about 10 million people in the EU and generate about 5% of GDP. On average, transport accounts for 13.2% of household expenditure.
Freight will grow by 40%, and passenger numbers by 34%, between 2005 and 2030, say Commission forecasts.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution