UITP welcomes opportunity for further rail investments in Europe

Brussels South Railway Station | © Stephane Mignon / Flickr

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UITP and UNIFE have welcomed a vote made in the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee today on sustainable urban mobility and look forward to further investments in urban rail projects.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), under the lead of Karima Delli MEP, issued its own-initiative report on ‘Sustainable Urban Mobility,’ which was adopted today.  

UITP together with UNIFE, the European Rail Industry Association, support the European Parliament’s approach emphasising the urgent need to make urban transport more sustainable and encourage a modal shift towards sustainable transport modes.

 Public transport needs to be at the core of any EU urban agenda as well as the solutions needed to scale up climate action at COP21.

This is especially important in the lead up to the COP21 negotiations that will take place in Paris from 30 November -11 December. Encouragingly, the report also calls on the European Commission to give active support to non-state actor initiatives on sustainable urban mobility that will be announced at COP21 as part of the ‘Solutions Agenda’.  

The two Associations also stressed that public transport and rail should play a central role in future EU policies on sustainable urban mobility, as it a key part of the solution to urban challenges such as pollution, GHG emissions and congestion. As such, the two share the view of the TRAN Committee, which stresses the need to make public transport more attractive and highlights the role of sustainable transport modes such as rail in freight and logistics, as well as underlining the importance of compact urban development.

In order to accelerate the process towards sustainable mobility, adequate public funding, particularly at the EU level, should be ensured for rail and public transport projects in light of their high economic, environmental and social impacts. Therefore UITP and UNIFE welcome the reference made by the TRAN Committee on the need to secure sufficient EU funds for future R&D activities in urban rail systems and to earmark revenues from road charging for investment into sustainable transport solutions. 

UNIFE hopes that the TRAN Committee report adopted today is the first step towards an ambitious EU agenda for sustainable urban transport

Thomas Avanzata, Director of UITP’s European Department said: Public transport is the backbone of urban mobility and the TRAN report rightly highlights the significance of public transport for urban economies as well as recognising its environmental and social benefits to help to fight poverty, social exclusion and access to jobs for all citizens. As such, public transport needs to be at the core of any EU urban agenda as well as the solutions needed to scale up climate action at COP21”.

Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, commented: The rail industry is ready to cooperate with the EU institutions to make urban transport even more sustainable. In order to reach this objective, further investments in rail-bound projects are essential. A number of financial instruments and funds, such as under the EFSI and the CEF, are already available and we believe that sustainable urban transport projects should benefit from these EU initiatives. UNIFE hopes that the TRAN Committee report adopted today is the first step towards an ambitious EU agenda for sustainable urban transport”.

  • Find out more about the role that public transport will play at the COP21 negotiations here

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