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Significant Challenges Ahead of Urban Mobility

Publication date: 03 October 2007


Brussels, 3rd October 2007


The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) welcomes the adoption of a proposal for a Green Paper on Urban Transport by the European Commission. The Green Paper indicates once again the vital importance of mobility for all European citizens and will hopefully instigate vigorous discussion on the future role and urban dimension of European transport policy.


It is a fact of life in modern Europe that the car plays a major role in urban transport. It offers citizens levels of efficiency, convenience, comfort and safety unrivalled by any other transport mode. The FIA is in this context sceptical about the effect of demand management measures such as the traffic restrictions addressed by the Green Paper. Several cities are currently introducing measures such as city tolls or temporary closures of city centres for cars. “Although such measures have not been fully evaluated yet, preliminary results indicate that the expected benefits have mostly not occurred with respect to congestion, environment, safety and noise” said Kraus, chair of FIA's Eurocouncil. “In forthcoming debate, FIA will support measures that bring proven benefits for the urban lifestyle and environment as well as ensure citizens' mobility” he added.


“Cities need to ensure the best possible mobility solutions. Helping cities find and implement solutions is a key priority for FIA and its member associations,” said Werner Kraus. With a majority of European citizens living in urban areas, Kraus stresses the crucial importance of an urban transport framework guaranteeing mobility for all. “Mobility is a major contributor to the social and economic wealth of European cities and a key element in their future,” said Kraus.


Sustainable urban mobility policy must maintain attractive and easy-to-reach city centres. FIA hopes the Commission's latest initiative will identify best practice and the need for standards to reduce pollution, increase safety and security, enhance traffic management and promote intelligent transport solutions to guarantee improved mobility and, at the same time, high quality of living for city dwellers.


FIA also stresses that due to the highly diverse nature of traffic in European cities, standard “top down” solutions will not work. Any subsequent EU action plan should then strictly respect the principle of subsidiarity. “FIA will actively participate in the forthcoming consultation so as to ensure that any future proposals emanating from the Commission's Green Paper on Urban Transport are really sustainable for cities, residents and mobile consumers,” said Kraus.


FIA's position paper is available here.

fia_position__green_paper_urban_transport.pdf (1041 KB)


Notes for Editors


The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the world’s leading motoring and touring organisation, represents via its affiliated members, national motoring and touring organisations totalling over 100 million motorists worldwide and 34 million motorists in the European Union. Europe’s motoring and touring organisations have as their highest priority to make mobility more sustainable, i.e. more reliable, cleaner and safer while keeping it affordable for all.


As the leading European mobility organisation, the FIA and its member clubs have unbiased consumer orientated expertise and long experience in a variety of transport issues, including road safety, traffic information and incident management. Their road patrols help for instance to speed up the process of incident clearance and their traffic information services help to reduce congestion. Since the automobile clubs are involved in city development projects and mobility planning, they promote innovative solutions by taking part in pilot projects. With a view to traffic in cities, the clubs focus on their role in consumer protection, testing e.g. “green wave” traffic light coordination, public transport systems or cycling-friendly infrastructure. It is the close contact to road users and municipal authorities that ensures practical, financially viable and user-oriented solutions.


For more information please contact: Olivier Lenz - Tel. +32 2 282 08 25

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