Intermodal Terminals in the Trans-European Network



Intermodal Terminals in the Trans-European Network

Authors

HOLTGEN D, European Commission, Belgium

Description

For many years the main objective of Community transport policy has been to remove the fiscal, institutional and technical barriers that exist between the Member States. In essence, the aim was to create a common transport market. However, there is a grow

Abstract

For many years the main objective of Community transport policy has been to remove the fiscal, institutional and technical barriers that exist between the Member States. In essence, the aim was to create a common transport market. However, there is a growing consensus among transport decision-makers that a common transport market is not sufficient alone to sustain free mobility in a region as large and diverse as the European Union (EU), now representing 15 countries with a total population of some 370 million. Infrastructure bottlenecks, congestion and subsequent delays are widely regarded as a threat to Europe's competitiveness. The continuing growth of road transport in particular is causing environmental and social problems which are detrimental to personal welfare and to the economy as a whole.

This is why the EU has embarked upon a major infrastructure programme for Tram- European Networks (TENs) which are intended to interconnect and harmonise different national transport systems. A key objective of the TENs is the development of an integrated, multimodal network which covers all main transport modes, but benefits especially the use of less environmentally harmful modes.

The TENs were formally endorsed by the Maastricht Treaty of European Union in 1992, which required the Community to establish Guidelines identifying projects of common interest. These projects are specified in a series of maps of rail (high-speed, conventional and combined transport), road, inland waterway and airport networks.

After a long and heated debate in the EU institutions, the Community Guidelines for the Development of the Trans-European Transport Network 1 were finally adopted by Co-decision (through a conciliation procedure) of the European Parliament and the Council in July 1996. In accordance with the Decision, the European Commission shall undertake a revision of the Guidelines by 1999.

Publisher

Association for European Transport