European Commission Director insists on sustainable transport, but warns on budget

The Director of the European Commission’s mobility and transport department has told the ITS European Congress that the EU’s smart mobility strategy is needed more than ever during the current energy crisis.

DG Move’s Herald Ruijters (pictured) said smart mobility is absolutely needed to make European society “resilient and rich”.

He told a press conference attended by Highways News, “If we do not act right now and urgently then it will be simply too late. There has been a clear need to engage with the Green Deal that we should try to limit the global warming to one and a half degrees as far as possible.”

He said commitment to alternative fuel infrastructure is necessary to allow electric or hydrogen vehcile drivers can find places across the continent to recharge and refill.

And he said the mobility strategy is more than just vehicles. “We have been making proposals for a trans European network that is smoothly connected in urban nodes with long distances with high speed rail with last mile connections in ports and airports and terminals,” he said, “To make transport much more resilient and much more robust and also, economically speaking, directly going into the efficiencies that can be greatly improved.”

He did, though, warn there is not a bottomless pit of cash to pay for mobility improvements. “We want to make available the money that is necessary [but] budgets are not infinite. It’s more to be seen like seed money, but they can be crucial in order to kickstart some of these actions that are necessary. I can already see that in Council and in Parliament, there will be huge debate, because nowadays, of course, everything is becoming more expensive, and we should be spending public money as wisely as we can.”

(Picture – Highways News)

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