Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kick conventionally-fueled cars out of Europe's centers by 2050, European Commission urges

Electric car parking
Electric car parking
Will become the norm under the new rules. Source: Daily Mail

Philip Langdon
New Urban Network

The European Union is not thinking small. On March 28 the European Commission, an executive branch of the EU, announced a set of proposals that would dramatically reshape the continent's transportation patterns by 2050. Among the goals:

• Use of automobiles powered by gasoline or diesel fuel would be cut in half by 2030 in urban areas, and would be phased out altogether in cities by 2050.

• Thirty percent of the road freight traveling more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) would shift to other modes — basically rail or water — by 2030. By the middle of the century, more than 50 percent of the road traffic traveling that 186 miles or more would shift to the alternative modes, aided by the development of "efficient and green freight corridors."

• The current high-speed rail network would triple in length by 2030, and "a dense railway network" would operate in all of the EU's member states. By 2050, a high-speed rail network for Europe would be completed, and the majority of medium-distance passengers would travel by rail.

• Except for long hauls (of which there would be many), there would be far fewer passengers traveling in Europe by air. And the use of "low-carbon sustainable fuels in aviation" would rise to 40 percent by 2050. By that time, the plan also envisions that all "core network airports" would be connected to the rail network — preferably to high-speed rail.


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