TEN-T revision: critical steps, but also dangers ahead
The Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament has unanimously adopted its position regarding the revision of the TEN-T regulations. In the proposal that still needs to be approved by the EU parliament plenary, the committee stressed the importance of strengthening intermodal transport with a focus on railways, cutting border-crossing times to fifteen minutes by 2030, and empowering the TEN-T corridor coordinators in monitoring infrastructure projects.
Another critical decision from the committee concerns the completion of infrastructure projects. The rapporteurs advocated that when there are delays noted in rolling out such projects, the Commission should intervene and reduce or stop the funding of the relevant projects. CER welcomed the position but mentioned that measures such as the Commission’s intervening could create more problems than those they could resolve.
Less road transport – faster rail borders
Among the most important prepositions is that road transport will no longer occupy large distances in intermodal operations. The Committee decided that “intermodal transport should be primarily done by rail, inland waterways or short-sea shipping, while any initial and/or final legs can be carried out by road”.
The idea behind this is that investments will allow for a complete electrification of the core TEN-T network enabling freight trains to run with speeds up to 100 km/h. Since the freight train speeds will increase, it is also critical to provide seamless and fast border crossing procedures to optimise supply chains at a maximum.
The goal is that trains will be able to cross EU borders in 15 minutes by the end of 2030. “It is particularly important to ensure that rail border crossings should take no more than 15 minutes, and there should also be slots for freight trains allocated across borders. It is ambitious but necessary if we want to succeed in shifting traffic from road to rail”, stated co-rapporteur Barbara Thaler.
The revision proposal has a more comprehensive approach when it comes to governing the TEN-T network. As mentioned, the Committee proposed that the corridor coordinators have more power when it comes to implementing infrastructure projects. Additionally, it asked for the implementation of a single EU language for operations and changes in the coordination of the traffic management system and digital capacity management.
CER stressed that these three proposals could prove problematic. Specifically, the association underlined that the costs of using a single operation language would be enormous and result in disturbed competition with other transport modes while also increasing safety risks. Moreover, it underlined that the traffic management system should remain in the hands of each Infrastructure Manager, while digital capacity management should not be allocated to ERA since this allocation would not necessarily mean simplified capacity allocation processes.
At the same time, the proposal that the EU Commission could intervene and defund infrastructure projects in case of delays was deemed risky since it could result in more delays, especially for large and complex projects.
Standard at TEN-T…, regrettably, devastatingly, now, is “cementing”. Not meeting with forces imposed by traffic and speed, already infrastructure is Bottleneck, of “hyped” inter modal service.
Here a TEN-T revision has to come!
Rapid development, the new sustainable, if not met with,
will add to subsidies requested and permanently,
will obstruct Goal of EU!
Edge of railway, load, shall include “height” for future demand, at any investment, at railway infrastructure!
A shift is needed!