"Towards a European network of transport systems": ESC opinion
The Economic and Social Committee (ESC)adopted on 19 December 1991 a unanimous opinion on the report, made by the Group Transport 2000 Plus, entitled "Towards a European network of transport systems". The Group was set up in December 1989 to define the European Community's internal and external transport problems in the medium and long term, covering the future single market, environmental protection, technical progress, and the extension of existing networks to Central and Eastern Europe. The ESC's opinion contains a summary of the report (noting that its main message is that decisive action must be taken immediately) and an analysis of the current crisis (congestion is already found on certain transport networks, and the forecast increase in goods and passenger transport to the end of the century must deepen the problem). The Committee's comments on the report, followed by an examination of the main thrust of transport policy, include discussion of the global approach, strategy, transport and the economy, intermodal transport, infrastructure, safety and protection of the environment, social aspects, R&D, and information. In the context of research and development, the Committee is of the opinion that R&D in the transport sector should receive more support. The development of combined transport interfaces, transport safety and the optimum utilization of existing infrastructure capacity are important R&D topics. Technological development in the transport sector should also consider the links between a technology, its users and other parties. In this sector, the Committee feels there is a necessity for the coordination and guidance of research activities in the Community.