The climate on limiting the speed of vans appears to be changing. Following a survey last year that showed Germans are in favour of limiting the top speed of vans, a survey in Italy has come to similar conclusions. T&E has called on the Commission to show more speed in preparing its proposals for van speed limiters.
By Jos Dings
We always felt the economic crisis, with its associated scarcity of public money, could bring about more than just misery. We thought it could be the trigger for positive reforms towards more sustainable transport. And there are now signs that things are slowly starting to move in this direction.
Letters published by the Commission show that the former EU enterprise commissioner Günter Verheugen intervened to help the German sports car maker Porsche during discussions on an EU carbon dioxide limit for new cars.
A leading MEP has asked the Commission to stop Poland spending €1.2 billion of cohesion fund money on roads which has been given for improving rail transport.
The Commission has published its long awaited white paper on the future of the common transport policy. Instead of being a policy outline for the next decade, it is presented more as a strategy for transport in 2050. T&E criticised it as ‘a manifesto for inaction’, while Greenpeace said it ‘blatantly passes the buck to future generations’.
France is to launch a pilot programme for the introduction of Low Emissions Zones. The test phase of the zones, known in French as ZAPA, will involve eight cities: Lyon, Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand, Aix-en-Provence, St Denis, Paris, Nice and Bordeaux.
Most Europeans are prepared to compromise on the price and features of their car if doing so will reduce harmful emissions. That is the finding of a new Eurobarometer survey conducted in all 27 EU member states.
A report for the European Parliament’s environment committee says EU budget subsidies in transport, energy and other areas should be removed because they can be environmentally harmful.
A leaked draft of the Commission’s new white paper on the future of transport says EU transport should look to reduce its emissions by ‘at least 60%’ by 2050 compared to 1990, but that almost all of these cuts would take place after 2030. The paper is expected to be published later this month, but the Commission has issued a low carbon ‘roadmap’ which says Europe must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of this decade if 2050 goals are to be achieved. T&E has welcomed the transport target, but says the plan for reaching it is insufficient because it postpones short-term action to the point where emissions reductions will ‘magically’ have to intensify after 2030.
Opinionby Nina Renshaw - T&E Deputy Director
As oil prices have risen in recent months, politicians and commentators across the EU have begun calling for all kinds of non-solutions such as lowering petrol taxes, encouraging oil states to raise production and dipping into strategic reserves. It seems once again that the most obvious strategy – using less of the black stuff – is so obvious that it is not even considered.