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IP/09/1379

Brussels, 30 September 2009

Commission takes action to make urban travel greener, better organised and more user-friendly

The European Commission has today adopted a comprehensive Action Plan on Urban Mobility. The Action Plan proposes twenty concrete measures to help local, regional and national authorities achieve their goals for sustainable urban mobility.

Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for transport, said: "I am happy to present this comprehensive package of measures in the field of urban mobility today. Never before has the Commission proposed a set of concrete actions to make urban travel easier, greener and better organised. The proposed measures will encourage and help cities to address the challenges they are facing. They will be better informed and better equipped."

The Action Plan is a follow-up to the Green Paper on Urban Mobility that was adopted on 25 September 2007. The debate that followed the adoption of the Green Paper confirmed the added value of action at EU level in the area of urban mobility while at the same time respecting national, regional and local competences.

Urban congestion, road accidents, air pollution and energy consumption all have a negative impact on the European economy and the welfare of all European citizens. More than 70% of the EU population lives in urban areas while about 85% of the EU's GDP is generated in cities. Some 40% of CO 2 emissions and 70% of emissions of other air pollutants from road transport are due to urban traffic. In addition one in every three fatal road traffic accidents happens in urban areas.

Tackling these challenges will address citizens' concerns. Nine out of ten EU citizens believe that the traffic situation in their area should be improved. It is also essential for the success of the EU’s overall strategies to combat climate change, promote economic growth and sustainable development.

Actions

The action plan includes a mix of proposals. For example, to improve passenger rights in urban public transport, the Commission will work with the sector on a set of voluntary commitments. It will continue to support research and demonstration projects, for example on lower and zero-emission vehicles. And in addition practical links will be established between urban mobility, and existing EU policies for health, cohesion and disability.

Other actions include an initiative to improve travel information and the continuation of the Commission's support for public awareness campaigns such as the European Mobility Week. To accelerate the take-up of sustainable urban mobility plans by local authorities the Commission will prepare information material and launch training and promotional activities. It will also produce guidance documents on important aspects of these plans such as urban freight distribution and intelligent transport systems for urban mobility. The Commission will improve the availability of harmonised statistics, facilitate the exchange of information, including with Europe's neighbours, and set up a database with information on best practices for urban mobility. Finally, the Commission will work to optimise existing EU funding sources and look at future funding needs.

The actions will be launched over the next four years. The Commission will review progress in the year 2012 and assess the need for further action.

For further information

More information on the Action Plan on Urban Mobility can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/urban/urban_mobility/urban_mobility_en.htm


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