Over the past few years, numerous European countries have attempted to limit the overall usage of cars, in an effort to reduce traffic jams, all the while promoting a cleaner environment.
A recent study has determined that many of these efforts have remained largely unsuccessful, as commuters still prefer using their personal cars over public transport or bikes. This is some bad news for the EU, considering the fact that over €16.3 billion were invested to change urban transportation in member countries.
According to the European Court of Auditors (ECA), despite the municipal efforts of improving and expanding public transport, no significant reduction in personal care usage has been reported thus far. As such, ECA auditors are looking forward to seeing an uptrend in the overall popularity of public transportation; to confirm that funding had not gone in vain.
It’s worth pointing out that the EU has the world’s best public transportation network. Urban, national, and cross-country mobility is at an all-time high thanks to the fully-fledged railway system. However, there is still room for improvement, especially in the case of eastern and southern member countries.
The ECA report, however, keeps a close eye on urban mobility for commuters within cities and municipalities. In this case, congestion is still fairly-high due to the dense population structure. This makes sense given the fact that congestion is bound to have a negative effect on overall economic growth. Similarly, high congestion levels also affect population health, due to high air pollution. Luckily, electric car popularity is on the rise.
The EU remains focused on its goal of improving mobility within the Union. Thus, even though funding will continue, policy-makers will have to explore new, alternative decongestion methods as well.