Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/43

Thursday 23 April 2009
Action plan on urban mobility


European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on an action plan on urban mobility (2008/2217(INI))

2010/C 184 E/09

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 25 September 2007 entitled ‘Towards a new culture for urban mobility’ (COM(2007)0551),

having regard to the Commission White Paper of 12 September 2001 entitled ‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’ (COM(2001)0370),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 18 October 2007 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan’ (COM(2007)0607),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 17 September 2007 entitled ‘Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility: The First Intelligent Car Report’ (COM(2007)0541),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 7 February 2007 entitled ‘A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century – Commission’s position on the CARS 21 High Level Group Final Report – A contribution to the EU’s Growth and Jobs Strategy’ (COM(2007)0022),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 28 June 2006 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the key to sustainable mobility’ (COM(2006)0336),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 22 June 2006 entitled ‘Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent – Mid-term review of the European Commission’s 2001 Transport White Paper’ (COM(2006)0314),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 15 February 2006 entitled ‘On the Intelligent Car Initiative – Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles’ (COM(2006)0059),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 11 January 2006 entitled ‘On Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment’ (COM(2005)0718),

having regard to the Commission proposals and guidelines, and the European Parliament positions, on the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund and the Seventh Framework Programme for Research,

having regard to the revised proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM(2007)0817),

having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2008 on ‘Towards a new culture of urban mobility’ (1),

having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2008 on ‘Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility: The First Intelligent Car Report’ (2),

having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on ‘the input for the 2008 Spring Council as regards the Lisbon Strategy’ (3),

having regard to its resolution of 12 October 1988 on ‘the protection of pedestrians and the European charter of pedestrians’ rights’ (4),

having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2008 on ‘CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework’ (5),

having regard to its resolution of 5 September 2007 on ‘Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the key to sustainable mobility’ (6),

having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on ‘Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent’ (7),

having regard to Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (8),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road (9),

having regard to Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways (10) (Railway Safety Directive),

having regard to Directive 2000/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the front underrun protection of motor vehicles (11),

having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 21 April 2009 on an action plan on urban mobility (12),

having regard to the Commission’s announcement of an action plan on urban mobility, publication of which has been postponed several times and for which there is no precise deadline,

having regard to the legal basis constituted by Articles 70 to 80 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0199/2009),


whereas urban transport constitutes a considerable proportion of all transport, with the legal basis therefore constituted by Articles 70 to 80 of the EC Treaty granting the European Union shared competence with the Member States in that field,


whereas numerous European directives and regulations, cross-cutting or modal, have an impact on urban transport and these need to be aligned through a targeted approach to the issue of urban travel,


whereas the European ‘Climate Plan’ adopted by the European Council of 8-9 March 2007 sets the ambitious objectives of a 20 % reduction in energy consumption, a 20 % reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 % share of renewable energies in overall energy consumption by 2020, and these targets cannot be achieved without a strategy suitably tailored to urban transport,


whereas the CIVITAS research and development programme has been a great success, reflecting the importance, for transport-organising local authorities and companies, of European investment in innovative urban transport programmes,


whereas the Cohesion Fund and the Structural Funds finance urban mobility programmes, but have the drawback, on the one hand, of lacking any European urban mobility strategy or objectives and, on the other hand, of being unequally allocated across the Union,


whereas urban areas are prime intermodal and interconnection poles for Trans-European Transport Networks, which must help achieve their general aims of sustainable European mobility and the sustainable competitiveness of networks of EU towns and cities,


whereas urban areas are important centres of business activity and whereas goods transport is vital to satisfy the needs of the population and at the same time faces challenges owing to restricted storage space and limited time-slots for delivery,


whereas strict compliance with the principle of subsidiarity and the right to local planning autonomy precludes a prescriptive European policy, but allows the Union to adopt an incentive strategy of the same nature as its regional and cohesion policy without imposing top-down solutions,


whereas the issue of urban areas cannot be addressed through modal policies, but only by means of an approach centring on users and integrated transport systems,


whereas an efficient and sustainable urban transport policy for the benefit of both European citizens and the European economy will only be guaranteed by ensuring fair treatment between the transport of goods and of passengers and between the different modes of transport,


whereas urban planning which takes account of the demographic change in society by, for example, locating housing designed for the elderly in city centres and shops close to where people live can contribute significantly to traffic avoidance,


whereas there is a need for robust urban travel strategies that optimise the relevant instruments by developing intermodal exchange platforms and integrating various travel systems,


whereas there is a need for reliable and more systematic statistics enabling an assessment of local public policies and an exchange of best practices in the field of urban travel,


whereas the various techniques applied in urban transport are of economic and technological importance in terms of the European Union’s competitiveness and its external trade,


whereas the time limits imposed by the forthcoming European legislative elections mean that it must keep to the timetable set for the parliamentary debate on the action plan on urban mobility announced by the Commission,


Regrets that the action plan on urban mobility announced by the Commission has not been published and, while approving of separate initiatives, stresses the need for a cohesive approach; decides, therefore, to follow up its own initiative report, fully respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by drawing up proposals for a European action plan on urban mobility;


Recalls that urban transport is subject to the subsidiarity principle, but nevertheless stresses that local authorities often cannot meet these challenges without European cooperation and coordination, and that the Commission must therefore provide studies and a legal framework, finance research, and promote and disseminate best practices in formats which are accessible to everyone in all EU languages;


Asks the Commission to publish a compendium of binding European regulatory provisions in this area and offer regions and cities a common frame of reference to make it easier for them to make choices as regards the planning and implementation of development strategy;

Accelerating European research and innovation in the field of urban mobility


Proposes the immediate launch of a programme for the upgrading of statistics and databases on urban mobility by Eurostat, including in particular:

data on traffic, including ‘soft’ modes of transport (cycling, walking, etc.),

statistics on air pollution and noise, accidents, traffic jams and congestion,

quantitative and qualitative statistics and indicators on transport services and their supply;


Suggests that a European internet portal and forum on urban mobility be launched immediately in order to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information, best practices and innovations, particularly in the field of soft transport;


Suggests that an annual European prize be created incorporating the CIVITAS awards into the European mobility week, to reward outstanding and transferable transport initiatives and projects;


Proposes that a new generation CIVITAS initiative be developed (CIVITAS IV), around calls for projects covering, inter alia:

ancillary services relating to intermodal transport (pricing, etc.),

ergonomics programmes (comfort) for urban transport,

innovations in terms of intermodal accessibility, not least for persons with reduced mobility (PRMs),

integrated urban transport information programmes for users, enabling them to optimise their travel and alter trips in response to the vagaries of the network;


Proposes that Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) research and development be stepped up, that it be better co-ordinated with the needs and objectives of urban residents and local authorities and that it be directed towards:

integrated information management and traffic management systems,

reduction of nuisance factors and accidents,

use of new interoperable information and communication technologies, including satellite technologies and NFC (13), through the use of GSM, for the provision of information to users and the issuing of integrated travel tickets,

safety and security on public transport;

developing a new generation of urban vehicles;

innovative solutions for efficient goods transport, particularly goods distribution to retailers in the cities;


Calls for national and European funding for ITS applications to be increased so as to enable greater deployment of ITS by local authorities;

Encouraging optimisation of various modes of transport by improving urban scheduling


Requests that the integrated approach principle be promoted in a partnership-based governance framework that brings together urban, peri-urban, national and European players and that takes account of transport-related issues such as social integration, noise, safety, competitiveness, environment, etc.; reiterates its request that an integrated approach be compulsory in the programming and choice of Structural Fund projects;


Recommends the introduction of integrated sustainable urban travel plans in conurbations with over 100 000 inhabitants, comprising:

a mobility diagnosis and mobility indicators and targets, and an assessment of their economic, social and environmental impact,

a plan for the development and interconnection of transport networks coordinated with the regional transport plan and urban planning policies,

a plan for the development of soft traffic infrastructure (cycle paths, pedestrian zones, etc.) fully integrated with public transport,

a masterplan for intermodal car parks and exchange platforms,

a programme for adapting management of urban mobility networks and their interconnections to the needs of reduced mobility users,

a masterplan for urban logistics, including the possibility of using public infrastructure for freight transport,

a procedure for direct participation by the general public;


Recommends that a permanent European forum on urban transport governance be created for representative transport-organising authorities, including user and citizens’ organisations and professional federations of transport operators, in order to promote the exchange and dissemination of best practices;


Proposes that European financing in the field of urban transport be made conditional on the existence of integrated urban mobility plans (urban travel plans);


Advocates cooperation between, and the operational integration of, authorities responsible for the organisation of public transport, traffic and parking in European cities of over 250 000 inhabitants, in comparable areas, based on movements of population and goods and in line with local circumstances;


Urges transport-organising authorities to set themselves proactive, coherent targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions by means of mobility policies set out in the above mentioned integrated sustainable urban travel plans and to derive from these targets specific performance obligations for public or private transport service operators;


Proposes that experiences in the field of tariff integration (including the ‘Interoperable Fare Management’ project) and the provision of intermodal information and information between transport-organising authorities in EU conurbations be evaluated, in order to facilitate the exchange of best practices;

EU added value: incentivising sustainable mobility in urban areas


Advocates the setting-up of an urban mobility observatory within the Commission, but does not wish a new agency to be created;


Regrets the fact that during the current aid programming period 2007-2013, only some 9 % (equivalent to EUR 8 000 000 000) of all Structural Fund spending on transport (equivalent to EUR 82 000 000 000) is earmarked for urban transport; considers this proportion too small to be able to meet the challenges of devising appropriate mobility in European cities and environmental and climate protection;


Strongly recommends that the possibility be examined, under the financial framework for 2014-2020, of a European financial instrument for urban mobility (integrated programme of the Marco-Polo type) enabling the co-financing of:

surveys of urban travel plans with a view to encouraging their widespread introduction,

a proportion of investments in modes of transport that meet the EU’s environmental and socio-economic objectives;

and proposes that this financing be allocated as an incentive, on the basis of calls for tender that meet European specifications;


Calls for the Commission to draw up a report on zones with access regulations in urban areas in order to assess their impact on mobility, quality of life, emissions and external effects, health and safety, taking into account the need for a system of enforcing criminal and non-criminal cross-border traffic offences;


Proposes that an information and urban transport ticketing network for the main urban destinations in the European Union be set up in stations and airports of departure, where these are located in the EU;


Recommends that a ‘users charter’ be drawn up for urban transport, to include pedestrians and cyclists,the distribution of goods and services and covering road sharing, in order to reduce the current disparities;


Takes the view that the urban planning model of the ‘short journey city’ is the best means of ensuring environmentally acceptable and climate-compatible mobility in cities;


Encourages the Commission and local authorities to step up and expand their initiatives relating to ‘car-free days’, as implemented during the annual European car-free day;


Calls on the Commission to come up with a harmonised approach towards green zones and the development of a single European green zone sticker as soon as possible in order to prevent the development of different approaches per city or Member State with considerable inconvenience for citizens and companies;


Considers that urban mobility initiatives should also seek to establish inter-urban networks in order to link up major cities, ensure their economic development and facilitate the rapid transport of individuals and goods;

Urban transport: an industry and European technologies which should be taken into account in the Lisbon Strategy and the European economic recovery plan


Suggests that a European policy be introduced for the standardisation and certification of equipment as regards safety and health, comfort (noise, vibrations, etc.), network interoperability (‘busways’, tram-train, etc.), accessibility for PRMs or people with child strollers, soft transport and clean-engine technologies (buses, taxis, etc.), on the basis of a carbon audit and an impact analysis of the costs for operators and users;


Urges constant care to ensure that all decisions take account of the need to ensure proportionality between costs and benefits and the possibility of subsidising less affluent users;


Suggests that guidelines be issued on minimum recommendations for quality of service, evaluation and participation by users and citizens, in the context of the opening-up of urban transport networks to competition under Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007;


Suggests that a significant proportion of the appropriations released by the European Economic Recovery Plan be allocated to the financing of ongoing urban transport and public transport investments and projects that can be financed immediately and implemented before 31 December 2009;


Notes that, under the European Economic Recovery Plan, Structural Fund resources for sustainable infrastructure projects are being brought forward; calls on Member States and the regions as a matter of urgency to use a substantial proportion of these resources for climate-compatible urban transport;


Calls on the Commission to take note of the proposals contained in this resolution, and of Parliament’s wish for it to take the initiative in this area, leading as soon as possible to an action plan;


* *


Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)  Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2008)0356.

(2)  Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2008)0311.

(3)  Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2008)0057.

(4)  OJ C 290, 14.11.1988, p. 51.

(5)  OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 1.

(6)  OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 154.

(7)  OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 556.

(8)  OJ L 152, 11.6.2008, p. 1.

(9)  OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 1.

(10)  OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 44.

(11)  OJ L 203, 10.8.2000, p. 9.

(12)  Not yet published in the OJ.

(13)  NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication is a technology for the exchange of data over very small distances that enables radio-identification.