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Capacity of transport infrastructure networks

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This content has been archived on 07 May 2015, reason: No more updates will be done

Assessment made on  01 Sep 2004

Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • TERM 018
Geographic coverage:

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


Key assessment

While infrastructure length is only a proxy measure for capacity, the steady increase in the length of the road infrastructure between 1990 and 2000 (with motorways growing by 38 %), suggests that road capacity has expanded to the detriment of conventional rail and inland waterways that remained constant. This effect is even bigger for the new Member States. The length of motorways increased in these countries with 60 % -but from low levels-, while the length of other infrastructure remained stable. Increasing infrastructure capacity is not always necessary. Optimization of the current traffic flows through road pricing (congestion charging) is still limited throughout Europe. The application of these principles might be more beneficial to the society than the construction of new infrastructure when capacity problems arise.


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