European transport policy will be the most impacted by the Green Deal, as this sector contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases. In this perspective, rail transport is called upon to play a key role because it is the least polluting mode, with robust dedicated infrastructures covering the entire territory of the EU, but whose full usage capacities are far from be achieved. One of the key causes of rail under- utilisation is the technical fragmentation of rail markets. Addressing this deficiency is the whole subject of the report by Izaskun BILBAO BARANDICA (PNV, Spain) on the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), adopted today in the Parliamentary Committee on Transport (TRAN).
Ms BILBAO BARANDICA declared: “We are pleased and proud of the stakeholder engagement and consultation process that has allowed us to draft and agree on a realistic and ambitious report to improve mobility in Europe. Technical barriers prevent the train from bringing all its virtues to contribute to more efficient, intelligent and sustainable mobility. Removing them requires the installation of the automated European Rail Traffic Control and Management System (ERTMS) throughout the EU's main rail network. We are long overdue, so much so that we should increase the speed of deployment of this technology tenfold to achieve a doubling of traffic on high-speed networks by 2030 and the same increase in freight traffic by 2050. Investments towards this goal are therefore key to the decarbonisation of transport and mobility, for rail safety, to boost the development of the European industry and should be a priority for European recovery and resilience funds”.
Initiated in the early 1990s, the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS) is a common signalling and speed control system intended to ensure the interoperability of national rail systems, reduce the costs of acquiring and maintaining train signalling systems as well as increasing train speed, infrastructure capacity and rail safety level. However, the deployment and interoperability of ERTMS is very imperfect and has fallen considerably behind.
With this report, Renew Europe urges the European Commission and the Member States to get to work in order to achieve the ambitious objectives of the Green Deal for European transport policy and to achieve the stages set by the strategy for smart and sustainable mobility.