Capacity of transport infrastructure networks

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1 Most infrastructure extension work is concentrated on roads. The total length of the motorway network has increased dramatically during the past two decades (about 3 % per year). Construction of the high-speed rail network is progressing rapidly. The objective of revitalising the rail and waterway networks has thus been partly met by building the highspeed rail network. Figure 1: Length of motorways and railways (EU 15) = Motorways Rail lines Source: Eurostat, 2001 Objective Optimise the use of existing infrastructure capacity and revitalise rail and inland waterways. Definition Capacity is the maximum traffic flow (vehicle-km in a given time unit) that can be carried by a multi-modal transport infrastructure network. The length of transport infrastructure by type (e.g. motorways, roads, railways and navigable inland waterways) is taken here as a proxy indicator for capacity of road, rail and inland waterways. This fact sheet is linked with: #Regional accessibility of markets and cohesion, #Transport infrastructure investment and #Land take. The intensity of usage of infrastructure by mode is also expressed as transport flows in #Passenger transport and #Freight transport. Policy and targets EU measures, objectives and targets: TEN Guidelines (European Commission, 1996a) The TEN plans cover major road, rail (both conventional and High Speed Rail HSR), inland waterways, maritime ports, airports and combined networks. They include plans for some km of motorways (of which around 54 % will be upgrades of existing roads and 46 % will be new roads), km of new high-speed rail track, and km of conventional rail to be upgraded to high speed rail tracks It also includes investments in Version

2 Freight freeways Intermodal to be upgraded to high-speed rail tracks. It also includes investments in intelligent transport systems (i.e. Global Navigation Satellite Systems and traffic management systems for different modes). Additional initiatives to promote railways include the launch of freight freeways (European Commission, 1997a) and the implementation of Directive 96/48/EC on the inter-operability of the trans-european highspeed rail system. Steps are also being taken to implement the Commission s 1996 White Paper for revitalising the Community s railways (European Commission, 1996b). Following its Communication on intermodal freight transport (European Commission, 1997b), the Commission has proposed new rules for combined transport (COM/98/414 final) and will develop proposals and actions to encourage intermodal transport. National measures, targets and goals: The Netherlands (V&W, 2000) United Kingdom The National Transport Plan (2000) has the following strategy for facilitating mobility: Users should pay marginal infrastructure and external costs, which could reduce transport demand, Better use of existing infrastructure (extending capacity without extending the network, see Box 1), Building infrastructures where there is no other way of achieving acceptable levels of congestion (to be determined by EIA/ SEA) The cycling strategy of the United Kingdom is expected to result in doubled cycling rates by 2002, with a corresponding network improvement (DETR, 1996). The United Kingdom also aims to improve usage of infrastructure capacity through a Toolkit aimed at improving information systems on traffic problems. In this way, the United Kingdom will give priority to increasing usage of existing roads rather than building new ones. Findings Road Steady increase of roads length Motorways versus other roads While infrastructure length is only a proxy measure for capacity, the steady increase in the length of the road infrastructure between 1980 and 1998 (with motorways growing by 69 % while the length of conventional railway lines and inland waterways decreased by 9 % and 8 % respectively), suggests that road capacity has expanded to the detriment of rail and inland waterways. The primary road network: included about km of motorways and km of state roads in 1998; the length of the motorway network increased by 3 % per year between 1980 and 1998; the highest yearly growth was in Greece (9.6 %) and Spain (8.4 %); the length of state roads (or motorways) in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, Italy and the UK decreased by 1 % between 1980 and Other roads (provincial and communal): Version

3 Roads which form part of the TEN Country variations in road length change Country variations in road density Non-road modes Rail length Rail density Distance to public transport Inland waterways the total length of provincial roads In Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria and the UK increased by about 0.6 % per year on average between 1980 and 1998; the length of communal roads in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, increased by about 1.5 % per year on average between 1980 and The TEN road network includes some km of motorways and main inter-urban roads, of which km are planned for completion by Although the TEN road network accounts for only one quarter of the EU primary network, its use is proportionally much higher. For example, in Germany and Denmark, it carries about one-third of road passenger traffic and in the United Kingdom, about half of freight transport (tonne-km). Whereas communal roads length is increasing in all countries for which sufficient data are available, provincial roads length is about constant or reducing slightly in most of these countries. In Belgium, for example, the total length of state, provincial and communal roads increased by 0.9 % per year between 1980 and 1998, through gradual extensions of local and regional networks. This seems to be a general trend. The densities of the road network in the Netherlands and Belgium are high, reflecting high population densities and mobility levels. Sweden and Spain have relatively low road network densities, reflecting low population densities. Road length per head is highest in Ireland, Finland and France and lowest in Greece, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In 1998, the rail network was about km long, of which 49 % was electrified. Some km forms part of the TEN. Although the length of the network has been falling for several decades, it is difficult to estimate the effect on capacity. The number of tracks has declined since Minor lines have been closed, but the length of high-speed rail track almost tripled between 1990 and Today the HSR network has grown to more than km of high capacity high-speed track. And the growth continues (see Figure 2). At present, about half of rail travel France (in passenger-km) is in high-speed trains. The highest level of rail infrastructure per head is in Finland and Sweden where a high share of freight is transported by rail. Netherlands, Italy and Greece have low levels of rail infrastructure per head. Italy and Greece have low levels of passenger and freight rail transport. In The Netherlands, distances are small and the population density is high. In only a few cases has railway density increased more than one percentage point during the period (Eurostat, 2001). In contrast to the expansion of motorways, we find that railway densities mostly fell between 1990 and 1996: in Belgium by about 3 % and in Greece by nearly 1 %; in the Netherlands density increased by a modest 0.5 %. The density of railway stations open to public (number per area of land) fell between 1985 and 1990 in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Finland, and Sweden, and increased in Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom (Eurostat, 2001). The inland waterways network is about km long. Intermodal There are 33 links between airports and public transport lines, and 4 Version

4 passenger transport facilities Combined transport under construction. There are 4 intra-airport systems. In EU15 about 0.5 million persons cycle to the station on an average day (7 % of access trips). Number of bicycle parks at railway stations varies greatly; for example in The Netherlands there are at least 104 with a capacity of about bicycles each, in Germany there are about 25 (each with a capacity of about ), in Italy there is only one (200 bicycles) (European Commission, 2000) Combined transport has increased from tonne-km in 1990 to tonne-km in 1996 (70 % increase) (European Commission, 2000). This is likely to be related with an increase in infrastructure capacity of all modes involved. Figure 2: Length of new high-speed railways in the EU Existing Planned Source: European Commission, 2000 Box 1. Extending capacity by optimal use of existing roads In The Netherlands, the ministry for transport is establishing a programme Optimal use of roads (part of the programme Transport innovation ) to increase the capacity of roads by measures such as: differentiation of approaches according to the scale of the (congestion) problem; joint approaches, where needed, with transport departments in subsidiary levels of government; systematic assessment of optimal use alternatives in EIAs; practical measures such as motorway access control, use of emergency lanes during the rush hours, quicker management of accidents, dedicated lanes, traffic congestion detection systems, narrowing lanes in combination with speed limitations; study of new measures such as automatic vehicle guidance. Version

5 Source: V&W, 2000 Future work Further work is required at the EU level to develop reliable and comparable statistics on infrastructure by mode and type. Definitions of road categories need to be harmonised, since Member States have different administrative arrangements and classifications. Additional data on infrastructure and operation characteristics (e.g. number of lanes, number of tracks, frequency of trains) are needed to develop the current length indicator into a capacity supply indicator. Data also need to be collected on capacity of ports, airports, public transport infrastructure and services, combined transport infrastructure and bicycle lanes. Data Table 1 The length of infrastructure (1998) Unit: km per million inhabitants Motorways State roads Provincial roads Communa Total roads Railways l roads Inland waterways Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece * 2 975* 3 897* 238 Ireland * 3 146* * * 511 Italy Luxembourg * Netherlands * 541* 6 399* Portugal * 7 905* 281 Spain Sweden United Kingdom EU Source: Eurostat, 2001 Note: figures marked with * are from 1994 (Greece, Portugal), 1995 (Netherlands, Greece), 1996 (Netherlands) and 1997 (Ireland, Luxembourg) Meta data Length of roads, rail and inland waterways These values have been taken from TERM Compendium 2001 (draft Nov 2000); limited missing data were interpolated. Rail and IWW have been corrected for the inclusion of the former GDR in 1991 by assuming that its network has not changed after 1991, and that the Version

6 change of Germany s figure between 1990 and 1991 was due entirely to the inclusion of the GDR. Length of HSR lines Taken from DG TREN Pocketbook, July The planned length can be calculated from the table showing the lengths to be opened between 2000 and General From Eurostat Compendium: Data on infrastructure capacity are rather sparse, especially for roads. To an extent the capacity is reflected by the type of road (state, provincial or communal), although this typology is potentially misleading. In some countries, it represents the administration responsible for construction, maintenance and/or operation, in others it refers to the design standards, and in others it may be based on use. Motorways are an exception here, as their definition is similar in all countries. In the case of railways, data on the lengths of single and multi-track lines, and the total length of tracks are collected. The average number of tracks has decreased since References DETR, 1996: National Cycling Strategy. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. London, United Kingdom. European Commission, 1996a: Council Decision 1692/96/EC on Community Guidelines for the Development of a Trans-European Transport Network. Commission of the European Communities. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. European Commission, 1996b: A Strategy for Revitalising the Community's Railways (COM (96) 421). Commission of the European Communities. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. European Commission, 1997a: Trans-European Freight Freeways (COM (97) 242). Commission of the European Communities. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. European Commission, 1997b: Inter-modal Freight Transport (COM (97) 243). Commission of the European Communities. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. European Commission, 2000: EU Transport in figures - statistical pocketbook 2000 (version July 2000). European Commission Directorate General for Energy and Transport in cooperation with Eurostat. Brussels, Belgium, July Eurostat, 2001: Transport and Environment: Statistics for the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) for the European Union, data European Commission (Eurostat), Luxembourg {Version 15/11/00} V&W, 2000: From A to Better. National Transport Plan Proposed policy. Van A naar Beter. Nationaal Verkeers- en Vervoersplan Beleidsvoornemen. Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat, Den Haag. Version

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