Europe Report: Phase Out Cars


A call for cities to completely phase out petrol cars throughout Europe.,
And by 2050, all major European airport hubs would have (preferably) high-speed connections to the rail network. All core seaports would be connected to the rail freight network and, where possible, to inland waterways.
This is part of the European Commission’s new transport plan which calls on:

  • cities to completely phase out petrol cars
  • shifting to rail or water 50% of all passenger and freight road transport currently making intercity journeys of more than 300km
  • airlines to increase their use of sustainable low-carbon fuels to 40%
  • shipping to cut 40% off its carbon emissions
  • completion of a European high speed rail network’ to allow the majority of medium-distance passenger transport to be carried by rail

And it says seamlessly linking road, rail, air and water transport modes would create a more efficient EU-wide transport network, making it easier for people and freight to travel.

A Eurostar train in St Pancras International station

The report warns about the dependency on oil - something our government fails to address.

Oil will become scarcer in future decades, sourced increasingly from uncertain supplies. As the IEA has recently pointed  out, the less successful the world is in decarbonising, the greater will be the oil price increase. In 2010, the oil import bill was around € 210 billion for the EU. If we  do not address this oil dependence, people’s ability to travel – and our economic security – could be severely impacted with dire consequences on inflation, trade balance and the overall competitiveness of the EU economy.

The UK is also deaf.

The European Commission said phasing out “conventionally fuelled” cars from urban areas would cut reliance on oil and help cut carbon emissions by 60%.

But UK Transport Minister Norman Baker said it should not be “involved” in individual cities’ transport choices.

“We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,” he said.

This is the rather cheesy promotional video for the plan.

One interesting call the Commission recommends is for countries to open their the domestic rail passengers market to competition, including mandatory award of public service contracts under competitive tendering.





  1. Carl says:

    the silly thing is, it will actually happen, while we are still decided if we should build a bridge or a tunnel.

    the piece at the end looks very much like Zaha Hadid’s work.

  2. anthony says:

    I agree with Carl here, while people fight over motorways and bridges, the supply of oil is dwindling away from the oil fields. im 17 and i wouldn’t be surprised that by the time im 60 or 70 (if i ever make it) there will be Oil wars and utter chaos all over the globe.

  3. Andrew says:

    Anthony: There are already oil wars.

    While the US/UN/EU claim to be intervening in Libya’s case for humanitarian reasons, they’re really doing so to ensure Libya’s oil keeps flowing. Iraq was similar.

    That’s why they don’t intervene in a similar manner in places like North Korea, where there is systemic human rights abuse - but not much oil.

  4. Patrick R says:

    Andrew, hmmm? not sure in this case. The fastest way to keep the oil flowing from Libya would be to have let the rebels fry. Gaddafi was happily selling everything he could pump westwards, so that doesn’t stack up. No really it looks like the UK and France really are motivated by something a little more impressive than greed. That it probably won’t work out for them is neither here nor there really.

    The interesting thing we have learnt from this however is that by taking Libya’s small 1.5 MBD [million barrels per day] out of the market that there is no spare capacity anywhere to fill that gap. The world is on a knife edge regards to supply and demand. We really ought to be trying very very hard to not need so much of the stuff so we aren’t so vulnerable to these events. As clearly they will keep happening.

    this is a month old but still relevant:


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