Framework Conditions

Because the road transport sector has proved itself to be more effective and more productive, it has absorbed an increasingly large share of the goods transport market, which is itself in a process of very rapid expansion.

Given also that aver the last few decades the population and their political representatives were less and less prepared to accept irrational construction of new roads and motorways and the related nuisances for those living in the vicinity, road traffic on the existing network has increasingly become synonymous with congestion, accidents, noise pollution as well as environmental damage due the emission of toxic gases.

Because of this road transport has increasingly become a synonym for congestion, accidents, noise pollution and environmental damage due to the emission of toxic gases, all the more so given that over the last few decades the population and their political representatives are less and less prepared to accept a deterioration in this situation due to irrational construction of roads and motorways.

Simultaneously clear-cut action in favour of decongestion of the roads is becoming inevitable if we are to ensure sustainable mobility in the long term.

CT has rapidly come to be perceived as the alternative of choice given that its advantages to a great extent combat the disadvantages attributable to road transport. The success of this system of transport is based on several conditions. The parties involved in the market must, as they are working on doing, develop highly perfected services which meet the expectations of the clientele in terms of quality and price.

Upstream of these operational and commercial measures, the Community and national political authorities have an essential role to play in putting in place an infrastructural network and a stable framework of laws and regulations permitting CT to develop in a context of fair competition against the unimodal forms of transport.

Where such a situation does not – yet – exist, targeted promotional measures must continue to be applied, taking many different forms such as exemptions or waivers (road taxes, limits on weight and dimensions…), direct aid for operation, or compensation for environmental advantages.

The policy of the EU can be held up as such, containing support measures for CT, whether direct or indirect (liberalisation of the railways for example).