Press release - Why should Directive 92/106 be recast? 28/09/15

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Why should Directive 92/106 be recast?

 

In view of recent findings that climate change has substantially accelerated1, public attention will inevitably turn towards the main culprits, which in Europe include long(er) distance freight transport.  Moreover, persistently high levels of transport-related local air pollution cost hundreds of billions of euros annually to Europeans2. The recently updated EU Handbook on Transport's Externalities3 confirms that the total cost of transport externalities to the European society is higher than what was previously believed – and that is without the wider costs of oil dependency.

In its report titled "Focusing on environmental pressures from long-distance transport"4 the European Environment Agency recently stated that there remains significant scope to fulfill the 2011 EU Transport White Paper's5 policy objectives, designed to curb the excessive use of road haulage in long(er) distance freight transport.  More specific and targeted policy measures should be identified, in order to provide European transport policy-makers and regulators with the means needed to achieve the common goals of our society: making Europe a better place to live, while not curbing its access to mobility and transport.

UIRR is convinced that Intermodal Transport Systems, in particular Combined Transport6, offer ideal ways to remedy the present unsustainable status quo in long(er) distance freight haulage. The most energy efficient modes of transport - electric rail, inland waterways and short-sea shipping - will efficiently perform the long(er) distance segments of transport chains, in the spirit of modes collaborating along their inherent technical merits.

While Directive 92/106 has been effective to promote Combined Transport, it should be refocused today to support the creation of a homogeneous regulatory framework for Intermodal Transport across the EU Member States.  The recast Directive should include improved definitions, European rules to replace the diverging Member State-level practices, crucial to the successful operation of intermodal/multimodal transport, techniques to catalyze the horizontal thinking required from policy-makers, and means to measure the progress of Intermodal Transport's competitiveness.  Such a recast Directive 92/106 could materially contribute to the competitiveness of transport operations that are performed by the collaboration of several modes of transport, ultimately enabling them to assume a greater share in the long(er) distance freight segment.

“One must not forget - even on the fortnight of the COP21 Global Climate Conference in Paris - that beyond the issue of GHG emissions, intermodality and Combined Transport in particular offer a solution to the challenge of long(er) distance European freight transport, ranging from congestion, through safety and security to the social issue of providing quality employment.” - pointed out UIRR President Ralf-Charley Schultze.

 

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1 http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34226178 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34009289

2 http://issuu.com/oecd.publishing/docs/highlights_cost_of_air_pollution_pr http://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/sections/press-releases/2015/04/air-pollution-costs-european-economies-us$-1.6-trillion-a-year-in-diseases-and-deaths,-new-who-study-says

3 http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/sustainable/studies/doc/2014-handbook-external-costs-transport.pdf

4 http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/term-report-2014/download

5 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52011DC0144:EN:NOT

6 Intermodal/Combined Transport: when cargo is loaded into intermodal loading units (containers, swap-bodies or semi-trailers) for easy transhipment between various transport modes - enabling the most efficient collaboration of the different transport modes, which adhere best to a specific transport task

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