Europe’s Economic Recovery Plan - Roads offer a path to future prosperity! MEDIA STATEMENT

Date

27 Feb 2009

Sections

Transport

Werner Kraus, FIA President Region I, has written to José-Manuel Barosso, President of the European Commission urging him to ensure sufficient resources in the European Economic Recovery Plan to invest in Europe’s roads. 
In view of forthcoming EU meetings to tackle Europe’s major economic challenges, Werner Kraus stressed that more must be done to ensure a viable road network.
“Roads are the life lines of mobility and economic activity in Europe, upon which investors and companies build their growth. In this time of massive financial support policies, investment in improving the road infrastructure networks Europe wide, nationally and locally could reap multiple immediate benefits for employment, trade, the environment and safety,” he said. It is also essential, if we want to reap the full benefits the current major renewal of the vehicle fleet initiative.
In his view, the 500 million euros of the €200 billion euro Economic Recovery Package, allocated to investment in the Trans-European Networks were insufficient to address the real challenges created by the economic crisis.
 “Taking an ambitious step toward facilitating a cleaner and safer mobility for all EU citizens requires a bigger share of the recovery plan than the 0.25% currently allocated to the TEN-T programme.”
Boost future economic growth
National governments have massively invested in sustaining the car industry across the EU Member States.. A serious injection of investment in road infrastructure would not only reinvigorate the economy but also be a good tonic for road safety, fuel-efficiency and lower vehicle emissions due to reduced congestion. The steps required do not only target future major engineering projects. Work on the existing networks can start NOW thereby creating jobs!
Safer and more environmentally friendly roads
The high added value of well maintained roads should not be ignored: smoother traffic flows, less congestion, and thus reductions in CO2 and other emissions are all benefits. Poor road maintenance undoubtedly contributes to a poor environmental and safety performance of vehicles. Road audits show conclusively that well maintained and well designed roads are much safer for all users. 
“The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) represents more than 34 millions car-users in Europe. Roads in better condition are a pre-requisite for future prosperity. Investing now in safer and more environmentally-friendly transport is key to restoring confidence in Europe’s economy,’ said Kraus.
ENDS
Notes for editors:
The  Fédération  Internationale  de  l’Automobile  (FIA),  the  world’s  leading  motoring organisation,  represents  via  its affiliated members, national motoring and touring  organisations  over  100 million motorists worldwide and  34 million motorists  in  the European Union. Europe’s motoring and  touring organisations have  as  their  highest  priority  to  make  mobility  more  sustainable,  i.e. more reliable, cleaner and safer while keeping it affordable for all.
For more information please contact Wil Botman, Director General at +32 2 282 0816.