Capacity of transport infrastructure networks

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
Prod-ID: IND-177-en
Also known as: TERM 018
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This content has been archived on 07 May 2015, reason: No more updates will be done

Assessment made on  01 Jan 2002

Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • TERM 018

Policy issue:  Optimise the use of existing infrastructure capacity and revitalise rail and inland waterways


Key assessment

The EU road network (in terms of length of roads per unit of surface area) is about 39 % denser than that in the ACs. The motorway length in ACs is less than one tenth of the EU motorway length. Current infrastructure building strategies in the ACs seem geared towards closing this gap. Total motorway length in the ACs almost doubled between1990 and 1999 (2.300 km built), while EU motorway lengths increased by almost a third (12.000 km built).

Railway density is around 7 % higher in the ACs than in the EU when expressed as length per capita, but around 18 % lower when expressed per unit of surface area. The length of operational railways decreased in the ACs (by 5 %) and in the EU (by around 4 %) between 1990 and 1999.

The development of the multi-modal trans-European transport network (TEN-T) is one of the major pillars of the common transport policy. The recently revised TEN-T guidelines include measures to improve rail capacity, encourage short sea and inland waterway shipping and promote integration between air and rail (European Commission, 2001e). The building of the TEN road network is however running ahead of the railway network development. In 2001, only 2.800 km of high-speed railway lines were in service, and it is expected that the completion of the 12 600 km network will take until 2020.

The extension to the east of the TEN-T builds on the end report of the TINA process (transport infrastructure needs assessment) (TINA Senior Officials Group, 1999). The outline maps that have been developed on the basis of this report will be integrated in the TEN-T guidelines upon the countries' accession. By 2015, the TINA rail network is planned to extend to 20.924 km and the road network to 18.638 km (European Commission, 2001f).

European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
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