Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Encouraging the use of environmentally friendly forms of transport

The Commission today adopted an ambitious mobility plan for the period 2006-2009 covering all journeys by its staff, whether between home and work or between Commission offices. With this plan the Commission integrates the working conditions of its staff, including their mode of transport, into its sustainable development policy, especially the social, environmental and energy aspects. It also confirms its commitment to the harmonious development of its sites in Brussels and is in line with the urban and mobility policies implemented by the Brussels Capital Region, which require the implementation of a transport plan by all bodies with more than 200 people. As an employer of over 22 000 staff, the Commission has since 1997 worked on a voluntary basis to promote the use of alternative and sustainable transport means, increasing and diversifying the facilities available to its staff.

38% of staff use public transport
Vice-President Siim Kallas welcomed the adoption of the mobility plan as a strong message from the Commission and its staff on environmental protection. "The mobility plan should encourage the positive changes that have occurred in our staff's attitudes and transport habits in recent years:2 38% of staff now use public transport to travel to and from work, against 44% who use cars. The plan aims to bring the percentage of staff regularly using private cars down from 44% to 35% by 2009. In parallel, use of public transport should increase from 38% to 45%, bicycle use and walking to 19%, and car-pooling to rise by 50%."

The priority measures will aim to encourage even greater use of:
- Public transport: the provision of facilities to staff in recent years will continue, with staff having free access to the No 12 link with Zaventem airport and to the Eurobus lines (21 and 22) between the main Commission buildings and other European institutions. And from 2007, the Commission will make a 50% contribution to the train/tram/bus season ticket of any staff member giving up their Commission car park access card.
- Bicycles: measures to fit out car parks and changing rooms and create cycle paths will continue, and the number of service bicycles, which have proved popular with staff for work-related trips, is set to rise.

In accordance with its White Paper on European transport policy and the proposal for a Directive on the promotion of clean vehicles, the Commission will continue to promote the use of low-polluting, low-fuel-consumption cars, 'clean cars', also by its staff. Its fleet of service cars will gradually be replaced with diesel cars equipped with a particle filter, asthey become available on the market.


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