The Belgian city of Ghent has reported a 12% reduction in rush-hour traffic, and a 25% increase in cyclists in the first year of its new traffic plan. The findings were reported on the second anniversary of the Ghent Circulation Plan coming into force, and coincided with T&E’s member organisations spending a day in the city before their annual general meeting in Brussels.
Some 97% of Spain’s population is being exposed to harmful levels of air pollution, a report by T&E’s Spanish member Ecologistas en Acción shows. The economic recovery has brought an increase in the use of diesel for cars, airplane jet fuel, and coal to generate electricity. The main source of pollution in urban areas, where most of the population lives, is road traffic.
CO2 standards for new vehicles have been proven to work and new targets should be introduced for 2025 and 2030, a report for the European Parliament’s transport committee has said. The limited quantities of available biofuels are also highlighted, while the shift to electric vehicles is ‘inevitable’.
The European Commission is taking legal action against the UK over claims it is exceeding limits on air pollution from traffic. Britain has two months to respond to the case that it breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, which cause breathing and other health problems.
Initial results from Berlin's Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) show some encouraging results.
The head of the European Environment Agency says transport trends are still 'pointing in the wrong direction'. She was speaking as the EEA issued a report saying greenhouse gas emissions from transport in the EU have increased by 36% from 1990-2006.
MEPs have approved a compromise deal that brings closer a new directive making it obligatory for local authorities to seek cleaner vehicles for public transport contracts.
Manchester has become the latest city to propose a congestion charge. The city says congestion is costing businesses money and depriving the city of skilled workers. Five other major European cities (Bergen, Oslo, London, Stockholm and Milan) have congestion charges.
The Commission’s long-awaited draft legislation on the rules for public authorities to buy road vehicles came out in December, and as expected they will require all authorities in the EU to consider the lifetime cost of pollution emissions and fuel consumption. The principle of bodies such as public transport authorities paying more for vehicles that are environmentally better than cheaper options has been accepted for some time, but the new legislation proposes a harmonised EU methodology for calculating the lifecycle costs of fuel, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and particulate matter. One study predicts the proposed law could save up to 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2017.