To help the EU build on its 2013 urban mobility package and meet its 2050 climate target, the EU has launched a ‘New Urban Mobility Framework’ initiative, which proposes measures to encourage EU countries to develop urban transport systems that are safe, accessible, inclusive, affordable, smart, resilient and emission-free. The initiative also addresses transport pollution and congestion, and draws lessons from COVID-19’s effect on public transport to help with the transition to a climate-neutral economy and emission-free transport at local level.
EPF has provided the following feedback to the Roadmap.
The European Passengers’ Federation EPF welcomes the concerns of the “New EU urban mobility framework”. In an overall view, six general guidelines should ensure most value for passengers:
- Access for all to attractive public transport is vital: getting people out of their cars is essential to reducing expensive congestion, freeing-up scarce urban land-space (from the need to build more roads and to accommodate parked cars), cutting noise levels, carbon emissions and particulate pollution (since non-exhaust road emissions from tyres, brakes, and road dust will still be a problem, even with a shift to e-vehicles).
- Sticks (like road-user charging) won’t be sufficient on their own to achieve significant modal shift – even if they were politically acceptable (gilets jaunes). We need carrots like attractive, reliable, affordable, high quality and accessible public transport services and vehicles.
- The potential of a public transport service is enhanced when it forms an integrated part of a network of networks – timetabling, ticketing, connectivity, etc.
- With the new post-pandemic focus on the promotion of active travel in the interests of public health and environment sustainability, interchange (e.g. hubs) with public transport services is of particular importance: planned well, their integration facilitates more sustainable ‘end-to-end journeys’ over longer-distances.
- Good public transport is not an optional add-on in any urban environment. Its provision must be conceived together with the design of the built environment. Urban mobility and good spatial planning need to go hand-in-hand.
- Public transport provision can seem expensive unless one takes an holistic approach to urban mobility (as we are beginning to do in assessing the public health and environmental benefits of active travel). It needs to be recognised that public transport is a public good, for which crude market analysis based on a linear understanding of supply and demand is an insufficient tool for the identification of its benefits.