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EU Commission Adopts Proposals in Support of Cleaner, Greener & Smarter Travel

Yesterday, on December 14th, the European Commission adopted four proposals to support the transition to cleaner, greener and smarter mobility.

In compliance with the objectives of the European Green Deal, through the newly approved proposals, the Commission aims to modernize the transport system within the European Union by increasing connectivity, diverting passengers and freight to inland waterways and rail, as well as supporting traffic from shipping points.

The proposals also include new digital technologies that aim to place a stronger focus on sustainable urban mobility and help the transportation sector reduce its emissions by 90 percent, reports.

“Europe’s green and digital transformation will bring significant changes to the ways in which we move,” said European Green Deal Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, commenting on the newly approved proposals.

The four approved proposals state that once TEN-T – an EU-wide network of inland waterways, railways and roads – is completed – travel time between different cities will be significantly shortened.

In order to modernize the network, proposals submitted on December 14 require the main passenger railway TEN-T to allow trains to travel at 160 km/h or faster by 2040.

Related to this, the same has required that all 424 major cities along the TEN-T network develop sustainable mobility plans to promote zero-emission mobility and improve public transportation, cycling and walking infrastructure.

“Cities linked to EU infrastructure are our centers of economic power, but they must also be lean cities – for residents and travelers. This is why we recommend a framework dedicated to sustainable urban mobility – to guide a faster transition to safe, accessible, and inclusive urban mobility. , smart and emission-free,” said Transport Commissioner, Adina Vălean.

As part of the four newly approved proposals, the Commission aims to make train travel more attractive to passengers by providing multimodal tickets as well as allowing passengers to find the best ticket prices while committing to investigating an EU-wide VAT exemption for train tickets.

Moreover, the measures include guidelines for tracking access prices in 2023, which will increase competition, provide more attractive ticket prices, and facilitate access for rail operators to infrastructure.

Apart from the above proposals, the Commission also proposed updating the 2010 Directive for Intelligent Transportation Systems in order to stimulate faster deployment of new and intelligent services by proposing some important travel and traffic data such as speed limit, traffic plans or road works, available in digital form.

The proposals also addressed the mobility challenges caused by intense economic activity such as noise, emissions and congestion. The commission revealed that the main focus will be on public transport, cycling and walking.

The Commission is expected to make a recommendation to EU member states in 2022 to develop national plans to assist cities in developing their own mobility plans.

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