EC adopts proposal for EU core transport network
The new core TEN-T network will use a comprehensive network of routes, feeding into the core network at regional and national level. The intention is that by 2050, a large majority of European residents and businesses will be no more than 30 minutes’ travel time from this comprehensive network.
According to the Commission, the core network will connect:
- 83 main European ports with rail and road links
- 37 key airports with rail connections into major cities
- 15,000 km of railway line upgraded to high speed
- 35 cross-border projects to reduce bottlenecks
Siim Kallas, European Commission vice-president, responsible for transport, said: ‘Transport is fundamental to an efficient EU economy, but vital connections are currently missing. Europe's railways have to use seven different gauge sizes and only 20 of our major airports and 35 of our major ports are directly connected to the rail network. Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper.’
The vast majority of funding will come from member states with some EU transport and regional funding possibilities. The European Commission has announced an initial investment of €31.7bn into the European transport infrastructure as part of the Connecting Europe Facility, which sets out to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks. This will include support of the core network priority projects along the 10 implementing corridors on the core network. The Commission says that the finance is intended to effectively act as “seed capital” to stimulate further investment by member states to complete difficult cross-border connections and links.
The European Commission adds that estimates put the cost of a real European network at a total of €500bn by 2020, including €250bn for removing bottlenecks and completing missing links in the core network.
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