Policies for Sustainable Transport - Why Do They Fail?
TENGSTROM E, Aalborg University, Denmark
One of the goals of transport policies in Denmark and the Netherlands since the beginning of the 1990's, and in Sweden somewhat later, has been the creation of sustainable transport systems. Why has so little progress been made? What are the stumbling blo
One of the goals of transport policies in Denmark and the Netherlands since the beginning of the 1990's, and in Sweden somewhat later, has been the creation of sustainable transport systems. Why has so little progress been made? What are the stumbling blocks along the road?
In a recently completed empirical study (TengstrCm 1998), I found that, in all three countries
- transport volumes have been increasing (somewhat less rapidly in Holland),
- car density has been increasing (with the temporary exception of Sweden as an effect of an economic recession),
- passenger kilometres by car have been increasing
- the percentage of cars without catalytic converters has decreased significantly
- the percentage of cars heavier than 1100 kg has increased
- the trends towards improved energy efficiency has been broken
- the emissions of NOx from the transport sector have decreased significantly
- the emissions of CO2 from the transport sector have increased significantly
- the use of energy in the transport sector shows a stable upward trend
- losses of productive soil have been substantial as an effect of the building of motorways (this is particularly the case in Denmark)
- the attempts to apply environmental impact assessment in road building have been a failure.
There are, thus, not many success stories but quite a few failures in the political efforts to reduce the present unsustalnable character of the national transport systems in the three countries. So there is good reason to consider how one can explain these failures of national transport policies.
Association for European Transport