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White Paper must place bus and coach at the heart of European transport policy

Date

22 Feb 2011

Sections

Sustainable Dev.
Transport

Only by putting collective passenger transport by bus and coach at the heart of the EU transport policy can policy makers at EU and national level achieve inclusive, efficient and sustainable mobility for all European citizens.

 

Brussels – As the final leg of the political bargaining goes on regarding the much expected European Commission White Paper on the future of the EU transport policy in the period 2010-2020 and beyond, the IRU recalls the unique capacity of bus and coach transport to serve as the backbone of the future European transport policy.

IRU Vice President and President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council, Graham Smith, stressed “Buses and coaches are the perfect tool to achieve the safe, green, efficient, affordable and user-friendly mobility that European politicians are seeking and European citizens deserve. Complementing other transport modes by helping them achieve their full mobility potential, buses and coaches are instrumental in optimising the entire collective mobility and travel chains. Recognising and reflecting this reality in the White Paper is the ‘Smart Move’ to enhance the political, economic and social relevance of this document.”

Armed with the endorsement by the European Parliament’s report on a Sustainable Future for Transport in June 2010, the IRU strongly recommends to the European Commission to set a concrete and measurable mobility policy objective, namely doubling the use of collective passenger transport, including by bus and coach, for both short and long distance transport. Setting such an ambitious target is the only way to effectively foster change at political, business and public levels.

Conservative figures show that doubling the use of bus and coach alone would bring EU citizens:

·         A reduction in road fatalities by more than 3000 per year; 

·         decreased road congestion in cities at zero cost for taxpayers, as a result of the expected 10-15% drop in car traffic;

·         reduced CO2 emissions by at least 50 million tonnes per year;

·         the creation of 4 million new, green and sustainable jobs.

“Show me one EU Commissioner, one Transport Minister, one policy-maker who would not subscribe to such achievements?” Graham Smith concluded.

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More on doubling the use of bus and coach transport: Smart Move campaign

Press contact: Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07, press@iru.org

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