European Union Transport Policy for 2010

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Eamonn Townsend

European Union Transport Policy for 2010

Post by Eamonn Townsend »

Powered Two-Wheelers must be considered!

Motorcyclists send the message across that the European Transport Policy must acknowledge the contribution of Powered Two-Wheelers (PTWs) in today's transport.

This reaction from FEMA, the body representing Motorcyclists' interests in Europe, results from the lack of consideration of PTWs in the original version of the "White Paper on European Transport Policy for 2010" emanating from the European Commission. Support for the motorcyclists' position was recently expressed by the Parliamentarian responsible for the subject, Mr Izquierdo Collado.

The White Paper aims at recommending to national and local authorities, for the next eight years, good practices to tackle the current problems faced in Europe with urban congestion, road safety, and inappropriate road pricing system. It is crucial that PTWs are properly considered in the document so they are not overlooked when measures to improve the weaknesses of today's transport are implemented.

FEMA deplores the fact that no chance was given to citizens' interests groups to contribute to its drafting. This is a major step backwards from the "Citizens' Network" Green Paper published in 1996, where the contribution of PTWs to improve urban mobility was clearly recognised.

More than 20 million people in the European Union choose PTWs as a regular means of transportation. Neglecting these millions of European citizens would not only be discriminatory, but also result in local authorities not considering PTWs in their transport plans and therefore give no chance to fully exploit the huge benefits of this "pro-mobility" vehicle in today's transport.

FEMA is also very concerned about the high level of motorcycle accidents shown in the White Paper, with no consideration given to the causes of these accidents. A research currently undertaken by the European Industry Association (ACEM), called Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study (MAIDS), will determine these causes. The results of MAIDS must be taken into account to investigate adequate solutions on the area of road safety, and input the costs fairly and adequately when a better road pricing system will be developed for each means of transport.

Representatives of the democratically elected body, the European Parliament (EP), have already reacted to the White Paper in favour of Powered Two-Wheelers. Apart from the Rapporteur Izquierdo Collado himself, the motorcycling German European Parliamentarian Bernd Lange tabled an amendment as part of the opinion of the EP Environment Committee, pointing out that "motorised two-wheeled vehicles have a key role to play in urban areas and should therefore be included in an integrated mobility system".

FEMA pursues its campaign by the Members of the European Parliament to get more support and make sure that PTWs get the recognition they deserve for the important place they have on European roads.