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Day: November 21, 2020

European Commission sets out next steps to improve road safety

On 19 June 2019, the European Commission published details as to how it intends to put its Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety into practice. The published ‘Framework’ sets out how the Commission intends to reach the target of a 50% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

Amongst the measures were a list of key safety performance indicators (KPIs), which have been developed in close cooperation with Member States, that will be used to monitor progress towards meeting the target across the EU. It is intended that the list, which includes indicators on vehicle safety, seat belt wearing rate, speed compliance and post-crash care, will be a living document that will be developed further over time. The initial data will be gathered from next year.

The Strategic Action Plan was published, alongside an outline of a road safety policy framework 2021-2030, in May 2018, as part of the Commission’s “third Mobility Package”. The recently published ‘Framework’ joins these elements together, connects them with the relevant KPIs and maps out the way forward. In do so, it also employs the Safe System approach – a comprehensive, system-wide approach to road safety – for the first time systematically at the EU level.

Urgent action on road safety is needed: More than 25,000 people die on European roads every year – a figure that has hardly decreased in recent years. Significant reductions in this figure are needed by 2030 in order to meet the EU’s long-term strategic goal of delivering “Vision Zero”, i.e. no deaths or serious injuries on European roads by 2050.

Source of information – here.

New guidance for European cycling projects

The European Commission has released guidance for cycling projects across the EU. The guidance aims to help practitioners in city authorities with responsibility for cycling and sustainable transport, as well as providing engaging content for other relevant stakeholders involved in cycling policy and infrastructure development.

The guidance directs users to existing EC-funded projects, best practice examples and guidelines, from across Europe. In addition, case study examples are provided, to highlight successful examples of cycling measure design and implementation

This guidance brings together the abundance of existing advice across the EU into a single, cohesive resource. This enhances convenience for users, enabling them to find the information they are looking for in a single piece of guidance.

The guidance acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all approach is not applicable in the case of cycling, attempting to address this by providing a wide range of cycling measure examples from a number of case study cities.

Access the guidance by clicking here.

Decarbonisation of Transport: options and challenges

In March 2019, the EASAC published a report ‘Decarbonisation of Transport: options and challenges’, which includes numerous recommendations for policy-makers.

EASAC – the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council – has as its members the national science academies of the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland to enable them to collaborate in providing independent scientific advice to European policy-makers. The new report focusses mainly on road transport, as it contributes 72% of transport’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU.

EASAC recommends a combination of transitional measures for the next 10-15 years and sustainable measures for the long term, based on a 3-level policy framework:

  1. Avoid and contain demand for transport services;
  2. Shift passengers and freight to transport modes with lower emissions (trains, buses and ships);
  3. Improve performance through vehicle design, more efficient powertrains and replacing fossil fuels with sustainable energy carriers, including low-carbon electricity, hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

For more information, click here.

Policy recommendations for car sharing

A new policy brief from the STARS project sheds light on what policymakers can do to implement better carsharing practices in Europe.

The document gives a series of ten recommendations on how they can best ensure that car sharing is integrated into existing urban transport systems without negatively impacting on other modes. These include adopting a mix of suitable car sharing models; supporting car sharing as a solution to be incorporated into sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs); and integrating car sharing into parking management plans. The policy brief is the result of the first research activities carried out by the nine STARS partners. Read it here.

Launched in October 2017, STARS is a Horizon 2020-funded project that aims to explore and boost the diffusion of car sharing in Europe. As part of this, it is analysing the car-sharing market, measuring the benefits of the different services and compare their costs, and studying user profiles and behaviour.

Source of information:

European Parliament calls for no liability insurance for electric bikes

The European Parliament is calling for there to be no mandatory liability insurance for pedal-assisted bikes, such as low-power pedelecs. In agreeing its position, Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee rejected a proposal by the European Commission that such vehicles should be subject to mandatory liability insurance.

The proposal from the European Commission was included in the proposed Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive, which was published last year. The Commission had proposed that pedelecs with pedal assistance capable of speeds of up to 25 kph and a power of 250 watts should be classified as motor vehicles, meaning that these would have been covered by the Directive and so be subject to compulsory liability insurance. This would be potentially conflicting with European type approval legislation, which groups pedelecs with ‘traditional’ bicycles, and so does not define them as motor vehicles.

The European Cyclists Federation (ECF) believe that the proposal from the Commission would lead to an irrelevant increase in administrative burden for consumers, public authorities and industry, and have lobbied vigorously against it (with support from the wider bicycle industry). 

According to UN legislation, bicycles are considered vehicles that are ‘propelled by human muscle power alone’, which would exclude pedal-assisted bikes. A petition to update this legislation is continuing.

Source and more information can be found by clicking here.

EU member states adopted the new rules for CO2 emissions standards

The EU member states adopted the new rules for CO2 emissions standards for cars and vans following an agreement between the EU Presidency and the parliament. Tackling emissions of cars and vans is directed to almost three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions in the road transport sector.

Based on the emission levels of 2021, newly registered cars need to provide on average 37.5 % less CO2 emissions by 2030 and vans respectively 31 % less. In an intermediate step, both vehicles groups need to reach the target value of 15 % fewer emissions by 2025. The values are the overall targets for the entire new registered fleets EU-wide and will be distributed amongst cars and vans producers according to their vehicle fleet shares. Manufacturers can gain less strict CO2 targets if they meet a defined level of sales in the category of zero- and low-emission vehicles (such as fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles). Levels are at 15 % of sales for cars and vans by 2025 and 35 % cars respectively 30 % vans by 2030.

For additional information, click here.

Sum4all launches a report on achieving Sustainable Mobility

The Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative presents A Review of International Agreements, Conventions and Other Instruments to Achieve Sustainable Mobility, a report which takes stock of existing international instruments—whether legally binding or non-binding and involving one or multiple modes of transport—and maps them against global goals.

The report also identifies potential gaps to suggest effective approaches moving forward. The stocktaking seeks to inform the Global Roadmap of Action, which is a menu of actions, principles, and best practices to enable the international community and its countries to achieve sustainable mobility. This paper is meant to inform the discussion about the paths that can help countries achieve sustainable mobility, rather than an exhaustive examination of all existing instruments.

For more information, click here.

New fact sheets detail mobility innovations

The final set in a series of fact sheets showcasing innovative mobility measures currently being implemented in Madrid (Spain), Munich (Germany), Ruse (Bulgaria), Stockholm (Sweden), and Turku (Finland) have been released.

Produced as part of the European mobility project CIVITAS ECCENTRIC, they outline key details related to each of the sustainable transport solutions. The fact sheets explain what the solution is; what has prompted its development; how the measure works; how it is being or will be implemented; the expected results; and the business model behind each measure.

The work being carried out in the five European cities spans a broad range of areas, such as walking and cycling, mobility management, urban freight, e-mobility, public transport, and transport telematics. A total of 50 measures are being implemented under CIVITAS ECCENTRIC.

For more information and to download the fact sheets, click here.

EU provides funding for sustainable transport projects

A new call for proposals under the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Blending Facility has recently been launched by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). Under the Blending Facility, €198 million in grants has been made available to promote the participation of private sector investors and financial institutions in projects contributing to the environmental sustainability and efficiency of transport in Europe. The Blending Operations are a combination of grants and/or financial instruments from the EU budget and financing from Implementing Partners (via a loan, debt, equity or any other repayable form of support).

Click here to find out who can apply and how.

Diesel ban in Berlin

Berlin has implemented the first of seven planned diesel restrictions, to manage its nitrogen dioxide emissions. The city follows action by other cities in Germany, Hamburg and Darmstadt, which have implemented low emission zones to facilitate compliance with nitrogen dioxide limits. It is likely that additional cities in Germany will implement low emission zones to tackle nitrogen dioxide exceedances.

Since January 2010, Berlin has had a low emission zone in place, which bans Euro 4 (diesel) and Euro 1 (petrol) vehicles from entering the city. Under this low emission zone, vehicle owners must purchase green stickers from government authorities or other authorised bodies, to display compliance with the low emission zone.

The city decided to implement a stricter low emission zone, known as the Diesel Fahrverbot (diesel ban), which allows only diesel vehicles with a Euro 6 standard or above to operate in the city. 

For more information visit the source page here.