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Vision of an interconnected Europe - 28/03/2011

Plans for more efficient transport would connect Europe's road, rail, air and water networks, cut dependence on oil imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A new European transport plan aims to increase mobility and further integrate the EU's transport networks - while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the bloc's dependence on imported oil.

Measures to encourage major infrastructure investments, change the way freight moves and people travel would boost economic competitiveness and create jobs.

The plan - with goals to be met by 2050 - focuses on travel within cities and between cities, and on long distance journeys. It includes calls for:

  • cities to completely phase out petrol cars
  • shifting to rail or water 50% of all passenger and freight road transport currently making intercity journeys of more than 300km
  • airlines to increase their use of sustainable low-carbon fuels to 40%
  • shipping to cut 40% off its carbon emissions.

Reaching these targets would help the EU achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gases from all modes of transport by 2050.

Better connections

Seamlessly linking road, rail, air and water transport modes would create a more efficient EU-wide transport network, making it easier for people and freight to travel.

The plan would interconnect, by 2020, Europe's passenger and freight transport information, management and payment systems. By 2050, all major airport hubs would have (preferably) high-speed connections to the rail network. All core seaports would be connected to the rail freight network and, where possible, to inland waterways.

At the same time, the EU would extend and coordinate "user pays" and "polluter pays" principles to finance its transport infrastructure.

Other measures would:

  • encourage new engine technologies, fuels and traffic management systems
  • coordinate by 2020 the management of national air traffic control systems through the EU's Single European Sky programme, and extend this to the European Common Aviation Area of 58 countries
  • deploy intelligent transport management systems
  • halve road casualties by 2020 and move close to zero fatalities by 2050

Transport is vital to the economy, job growth and our quality of life. The industry directly employs 10 million people and accounts for about 5% of the EU's gross domestic product. The average household spends 13% of its budget on transport.

More on transport

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