The EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot is being moved to the justice portfolio, meaning there will be a new commissioner for transport from Italy.
The European Environment Agency has published a report highlighting six ‘success stories’ within the road transport sector on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing parallel benefits such as noise reduction and improved air quality. The report takes the successes from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Great Britain, and says they could be models for similar projects elsewhere as part of the EU’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts.
Lobbyists and representatives from industry have a disproportionate influence in the ‘expert groups’ that advise the Commission on drawing up EU legislation.
The European Environment Agency has attacked the transport sector for causing the EU to miss its Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction target. And its leading official has called for much stricter carbon dioxide targets for new cars than the EU is currently discussing.
The EU’s continued ‘two-seat’ operation in Brussels and Strasbourg is causing almost 20 000 tonnes of needless additional carbon dioxide emissions.
Taking the train may in most cases be an environmentally better option than flying, but it may also be better for business travellers, according to a report by T&E’s member Transform Scotland.
Making transport pay its true costs is back on the EU agenda, after the Commission opened a public consultation on internalising external costs that floats the idea that all transport could be part of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
Research carried out in Great Britain says there is ‘no evidence’ that long heavy lorries (sometimes known as ‘gigaliners’) are good for road freight efficiency.
The EU’s third railway package has been completed, but two cyclists’ umbrella organisations have accused ministers and the Commission of a betrayal of cyclists’ interests.
MEPs have approved a new bill of rights for rail travellers, including company liability for passengers and their luggage, and the right to take a bicycle on board.