Investments in transport infrastructure
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2002
ClassificationTransport (Primary theme)
- TERM 019
Policy issue: Investment priority for environmentally-friendly transport infrastructures
The limited data on investments indicate a prioritisation of road investments
Transport investment policies in the EU have traditionally focused on extending infrastructure, particularly roads, as a response to increasing traffic demand. Better road networks, in turn, have further boosted road transport.
The few statistics available on transport infrastructure investments show that between 1993 and 1995 47 % of infrastructure spending in the ACs went to roads and 42 % to railways. In the EU, road received 62 % of total investment, and rail 29 %, i.e. a larger share than its share in transport volume. This has, however, not been sufficient to make rail flexible enough to meet new transport demands. Maintenance budgets are allocated mainly to railways in the ACs (54 %) and to roads in the EU (72 %). Figures on infrastructure funding by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provide an indication of more recent investment trends in the ACs, which are more in favour of road.
Between 1998 and 2000, the Phare programme contributed funding to 52 transport infrastructure projects in the ACs (for a total of EUR 120 million a year), 60 % of which were road projects (IEEP, 2001).
The ISPA (instrument for structural policies for pre-accession) is the European Community's financial instrument designed to assist 10 ACs to meet EU requirements in the fields of environment and transport. ISPA funding in the transport sector focuses on the extension and improvement of the TINA network. An initial estimate of the costs of construction and restoration of this network up to 2015 was EUR 91.5 billion, 48 % for the road network and 40.5 % for rail. In 2000 and 2001, the Commission approved EUR 6 billion ISPA funding, with 61 % going to transport projects, equally shared between rail and road (European Commission, 2001f).