Challenges for Europe and North America
Edited by Karst T. Geurs, Kevin J. Krizek and Aura Reggiani
Chapter 16: European transport policy: methodology to assess accessibility impacts
The European Commission presented an update on its transportation policy in the White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area–Towards a Competitive and Resource Efficient Transport System published in March 2011 (European Commission, 2011b). Apart from the objective of reducing CO2 emissions drastically, the proposed policy measures also aims to improve the efficiency of the European transport system and improve accessibility at regional level. This chapter presents the methodology applied during the preparation of the White Paper for the evaluation of trends in transport and accessibility by the year 2030, and the impact assessment of accessibility-related measures. The analysis is based on the TRANSTOOLS model (Burgess and Nielsen, 2008; Rich et al., 2009), a multimodal transport network model covering all 27 European Union (EU) member states. The model is the standard tool used by the European Commission services in policy impact assessments for transport. A reference scenario to 2030 was developed, taking into account the expected socio-economic and demographic trends. A set of indicators to measure transport costs, congestion and accessibility was developed. These indicators were used to compare alternative policy intervention scenarios to the reference scenario. The findings of this analysis were used in European Commission (2011a) to evaluate the accessibility impact of various policy options and several other policy priorities. This chapter is structured as follows: a description of the general context of EU transport policy is given first, defining priorities from the policy analyst’s point of view. An analysis of selected theoretical concepts with respect to accessibility measurement is then given. The general trends in transport activity are also presented, identifying the main drivers that affect accessibility. The impact of the specific policy initiative is presented and discussed, and a final section concludes.
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