Pollution, noise & congestion charges to fund TEN-T schemes

By Chris Sleight14 September 2011

Belgian MEP Mathieu Grosch.

Belgian MEP Mathieu Grosch.

A White Paper on Transport put before the European Parliament proposes that the cost of pollution, noise and congestion should be reflected by the price paid by users of transport. The revenues generated by these charges should be used by EU Member States to fund the elimination of 25 known bottlenecks in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) projects.

The White Paper also proposes that the European Commission should increase direct funding to priority and cross-border transport projects to up to 30% of total investment costs. Belgian MEP Mathieu Grosch, who presented the Transport Committee's White Paper, 'Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area' said the European Commission, the EU's executive body, could finance this in part by limiting the number of projects receiving funding.

The proposals for the TEN-T schemes are part of a wider vision to reduce CO2 emissions and remove bottlenecks from the European transport network. Mr Gorsch has suggested emissions targets cuts of -20% in road transport -30% in air transport and shipping by 2020. He also wants energy consumption and noise in the rail sector to fall by -20%.

The proposals outlined in the White Paper build on a similar report published by the Commission in March, outlining European transport policy up to 2050. Criticising this dangers of setting such a long-term plan, and the lack of political will among Member States to implement transport policy in the past, Mr Grosch said, "We have to learn the lessons of the previous white papers, set clear ten-year targets and ensure they are met."

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