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Tackling urban road congestion

Specific challenge: Significantly reducing urban road congestion and improving the financial and environmental sustainability of urban transport will bring major benefits for the economy, the attractiveness of cities and citizens' wellbeing. This requires an improved understanding of measures to reduce urban road congestion whilst increasing urban accessibility for passengers and freight and contribute to the achievement of broader sustainable urban transport policy objectives. It also requires new thinking and innovative business models and service concepts for public transport, walking and (safe) cycling, adapted to increasingly limited public budgets. Special attention should be paid to issues related to vulnerable groups of citizens and gender issues.

Scope: Proposals should address one of the following domains:

      Analysing measures and tools to understand and secure a long term reduction in urban road congestion. This should include sub-urban and peri-urban areas. In particular the links with other aspects of urban mobility, e.g. public transport services; mobility management and travel awareness, cycling and walking strategies; parking management and information; traffic and travel avoidance; reallocation or multimodal use of road space; infrastructure development including integration of underused links; capacity management; and access or road user charging could be addressed.

      Exploring how a favourable environment can be created for a significant growth in public transport at limited extra costs. The research should provide an overview and analysis of innovative approaches in areas such as fares, taxes and levies; infrastructure investment; rolling-stock renewal; customer orientation; operational service concepts; synergies with other modes; demand management; organisational setup; and regulatory frameworks. Recommendations, tools and guidance material could be developed and tested to support operators and authorities in developing business models that match their needs and circumstances. The work could be accompanied by a platform with stakeholders from different organisational, economic and social contexts.

      Assessing how the role of walking and (safe) cycling in the urban modal split can be increased, for example through awareness raising activities, financial/tax incentives, allocation of infrastructure space, planning approaches/provisions, service concepts,  intermodal links, and human-centred environments. The role of partnerships and the active involvement and commitment of public administrations require special attention. Recommendations, tools and guidance material could be developed and tested.

This topic complements work under several topics of the Road and the Intelligent Transport Systems areas of this work programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Actions will result in improved understanding of proven policy measures and tools and technology options that can contribute to a significant reduction of congestion whilst improving mobility and access. They will also produce insights on the feasibility of new public transport business models with long term financial sustainability. The action(s) on walking and cycling will produce new insights on impacts, success factors and benefits. Clear commitments from participants, and leadership for an ambitious Europe-wide take up and rollout of results during and following the projects are expected.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions