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Railway package: MEPs to focus on efficiency and public service obligations

MEPs welcomed the Commission’s “Railway package” proposals tabled on Wednesday. These are designed to complete the Single European Railway market, open up domestic passenger traffic to more competition and ensure full interoperability on a truly European network overseen by independent regulators. Here are some preliminary reactions.  “We want the operators to be able to run trains across the continent without technical or administrative barriers which undermine the internal market.” To remove them, “we need an increased role for the European…

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European railways at a Junction: The Commission adopts proposal for a forth Railway Package

The European Commission today announced a comprehensive package of measures to deliver better quality and more choice in railway services in Europe. Rail is a vital part of EU transport, with a key role in addressing rising traffic demand, congestion, fuel security and decarbonisation. But many European rail markets are currently facing stagnation or decline. Faced with this reality, the Commission is proposing far reaching measures to encourage more innovation in EU railways by opening EU domestic passenger markets to…

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LNG for the maritime sector closer to reality thanks to EU supported project

The European Union will support with over €1.2 million from the TEN-T Programme a study aimed at identifying and addressing the potential barriers to the construction and operation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelled vessels. The project, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call, will examine the technical requirements, regulations and environmental operation permits that need to be met in order to shift from traditionally fuelled engines to LNG. LNG is rapidly emerging as a cheaper…

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EU launches Clean Fuel Strategy

The European Commission today announced an ambitious package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts to provide incentives have been un-co-ordinated and insufficient. Clean fuel is being held back by three main barriers: the high cost of vehicles, a low level of consumer acceptance, and the lack of recharging and…

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Hydrogen on TEN-T road network closer to reality thanks to EU grant

The European Union will support with almost €3.5 million from the TEN-T Programme a project, taking place in The Netherlands and Denmark with the support of French and Swedish stakeholders, which will analyse the current situation of hydrogen refuelling stations and propose new strategies to expand their usage. The HIT (Hydrogen Infrastructure for Transport) project, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call, will define the best strategies to move from the current patchwork of hydrogen “hotspots”…

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Great success for the Third UKTiE European Transport Policy Forum

Read the Conclusions: UKTiE European Transport Policy Forum 2012  Download the Pictures: Pictures from the UKTiE Forum 2012 The UKTiE European Transport Policy Forum is now an established milestone for UK transport in Europe. This year’s edition was held in Brussels on 13-14 November 2012. High level speakers gathered together with with leading UK transport stakeholders to discussing key themes like EU transport regulation, policy making and funding opportunities. Interesting debates rose about the most urgent priorities for the UK transport…

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“Airports Package” voted in Transport Committee: MEPs reject further liberalisation of ground-handling services

Transport Committee − 06-11-2012 The Commission’s proposal to boost competition to supply ground-handling services at major EU airports was rejected by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. MEPs also agreed on new rules to ensure more efficient use of takeoff and landing slots, and on noise-mitigation measures to protect the public living near airports whilst ensuring smooth flight operations. The Commission proposal to further open the ground-handling service market, by increasing the minimum number of independent handlers from two…

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Road transport: Europe’s challenge to be clean, competitive and sustainable

Siim Kallas, Vice-President and Commissioner for transport, gave a speech today at the Scania Transport Conference 2012 in Brussels. He mantioned the main problem areas  – climate change, rising congestion and transport’s overdependence on oil as a power source – and stated that innovation and investment are the keys to maintaining competitiveness. He also announced and explained a comprehensive strategy for alternative fuels: “Clean Power for Transport”, to be presented by the end of the year. To read the full speech: click…

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CARS 2020: for a strong, competitive and sustainable European car industry

With 12 million sector-related jobs the automotive industry is vital for Europe’s prosperity and job creation. The EU needs to maintain a world-class car industry, producing the most energy efficient and safe vehicles globally and providing high-skilled jobs to millions. To make this happen, the European Commission tabled today the CARS 2020 Action Plan aimed at reinforcing this industry’s competitiveness and sustainability heading towards 2020. The Commission proposes a massive innovative push by streamlining research and innovation under the European…

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Council wants to enhance road safety

On 29 Ocotber the Council endorsed a political agreement on the proposed regulation on recording equipment in road transport (tachographs). Minister Flourentzou welcomed the political agreement stressing that “making tachographs more cost-effective should be one of the key elements of the EU strategy to further integrate the road freight transport market and render road transport safer, more efficient and competitive”. Tachographs play a crucial role in checking compliance by professional road transport drivers with the rules on driving time and…

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