Indicator Assessment of the White Paper on Transport

Indicator Assessment of the White Paper on Transport


G De Ceuster, S Logghe, B van Herbruggen, Transport & Mobility Leuven, BE


The ASSESS project supports the 2005 mid-term assessment of the White Paper. On this regard 7 models with same assumptions were used to estimate the impacts on the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability for 4 scenarios.


In 2001, the European Commission published the White Paper ?European transport policy for 2010: time to decide?. The White Paper analysed the existing situation with regard to transport and set out an ambitious action programme up to 2010.

The ASSESS project has been set up to provide the technical support to the Commission for the 2005 mid-term assessment. In particular, the project carried out an assessment of both the achievements to date, the possible policy implementation scenarios to the year 2010, and to the year 2020.

A large part of the ASSESS work was the indicator assessment of the objectives for 4 policy implementation scenarios. On this regard 7 models with same assumptions and scenarios were used to estimate the impacts (effects on transport and sustainability): SCENES, TREMOVE, ASTRA, CGE, SWOV safety model, TNO noise model, SLAM logistics model.

The economic, social and environmental consequences of the White Paper measures, for the expected implementation levels in 2010 and 2020 were analysed with an indicator assessment, based on the model outcomes.

* Growths in transport demand

In the freight transport sector, the decline in rail transport appears to have ended in the majority of countries, and in the major economies like Germany and the UK, rail freight has been increasing rapidly in recent years. Growth in short sea shipping appears to be strong in a number of countries, and inland waterway traffic has largely maintained a healthy growth momentum on key corridors. In a number of countries, road freight traffic growth has been slower than the GDP growth in recent years, although more empirical observations are required to ascertain this trend. In passenger rail transport, there has been strong growth in EU15 and the decline in the new Member States has been largely halted. In a number of urban areas, there have been remarkable examples of successful initiatives to promote public transport and walking/cycling.

Nevertheless, if the recent trends simply continue without strengthening the policy implementation, the White Paper targets on modal balance may not be met by 2010. The possible trajectories of transport demand growth have been tested using the SCENES transport model, using up to date economic and demographic projections and reasonable assumptions regarding foreign trade growth, fuel prices, passenger and freight user prices, and the trends in freight logistics. Four main policy scenarios have been developed within the ASSESS project, corresponding to different levels of expectations in policy implementation. For the most likely scenario, two alternative tests have been made in order to examine the possible variations in demand growth as a result of the model assumptions on pricing and freight logistic trends. Compared with earlier transport demand forecasts, ASSESS has made use of more recent GDP projections (which are lower than previous ones), and has benefited from a longer time series of freight demand observations.

Under the most likely scenario, the overall freight demand growth for inland modes (i.e. road, rail and inland waterway) when measured in tonne-kilometres are likely to be between 17%-22% for the period 2000-2010, and between 36-45% for 2000-2020 in EU25. The road tonne-km growth is likely to be between 21-26% for 2000-2010, and 43-55% for 2000-2020. Rail tonne-km growth is to be between 3-8% for 2000-2010, and 11-13% for 2000-2020. Short sea shipping demand, when measured in total tonnes received at the ports, is likely to grow by 16 and 36% respectively for 2010 and 2020. This suggests that the policy measures under this scenario are likely to reverse the decline of rail freight which occurred during the 1990s, but they would not be sufficient to achieve the original White Paper target of retaining the modal split pattern of 1998 for freight demand for EU25 as a whole.

* The White Paper objectives will not be reached, but progress has been made

The economic, social and environmental consequences of the White Paper measures, for the expected implementation levels in 2010 and 2020 were analysed with an indicator assessment.

Almost all indicators show a remarkable progress in the right direction. Road safety has improved greatly since 2001. Emissions have dropped. Rail freight transport is growing. As expected, the different future scenarios considered have an increasing degree of impact, with more ambitious policy implementation producing better outcomes.

The accessibility of the regions will increase, the full White Paper implementation leads to a better accessibility of regions than the current implementation level. It should be kept in mind that some peripheral regions in NMS are not equally enjoying improved accessibility as others.

Implementing the measures of the White Paper is positively affecting the EU economic growth, particularly when marginal effects can be detected, although the impacts on GDP and employment are quite small. This moderately positive impact is higher when the investment and policy measures are well integrated and charging policies are compensated by a proportionate reduction of direct taxes.

According to the safety analysis, none of the Member States will reach the 50% reduction in 2010. Some states are approaching the objective (Latvia, France, Portugal). For the 25 EU Member States the overall predicted reduction is 27%. In case of a full implementation of the White Paper, including rigorous measures as e-safety, it is estimated that the EU as a whole the objective will be reached in 2010.

An almost stable energy consumption and CO2 exhaust emissions is predicted. The stableness of the transport emissions is mainly because the transport activity growth will be compensated by increases in the fuel efficiency for all road vehicles ? a measure not included in the White Paper.

The major driver for the future large reduction in conventional emissions is the introduction of road vehicles emission and fuel standards, again a measure that not belongs to the White Paper.

This analysis shows also that the target of decoupling transport growth from economic growth does not influence the sustainability effects of transport. It should be revised towards a decoupling of the negative consequences of traffic, not traffic itself.


Association for European Transport