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Brussels, 10 December 2003

Commission authorises French and Italian aid to experimental rolling motorway service between Lyon and Turin

Today the Commission approved aid from France and Italy to an experimental rolling motorway scheme between Aiton and Orbassano on the Lyon-Turin line. This new service will be operated by AFA - Autoroute Ferroviaire Alpine from 2003 to 2006.

France and Italy will be allowed to grant financial support of up to 23.5 million euros each to the new rolling motorway service between Aiton and Orbassano over the experimental phase from 2003 to 2006.

In the rolling motorway system lorries are loaded onto shuttle trains which carry them and their drivers over distances of 200 to 300 kilometres. This offers a viable alternative for crossing natural obstacles, such as the English Channel or, in this case, the Alps, where it provides a means of reducing road congestion and environmental impact.

In view of the experimental nature of the project, the particularly difficult operating conditions on this line during the trial and the special technology to be used, financial support from the public sector is needed in order to put this scheme into action.

At the Périgueux summit on 27 November 2001 the Italian and French governments agreed to set up AFA Autoroute Ferroviaire Alpine, a company governed by Italian law in which the main partners are the SNCF and TRENITALIA1.

This measure should help to encourage combined transport in preference to road, one of the central objectives of European transport policy.2 The Commission considers that this aid is compatible with the competition rules 3 provided it is limited to the experimental phase.

    1  Approved by the European Commission on 4 August 2003.

2  See the White Paper "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide" COM (2001) 370 at the following address

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