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1.3.2 The New TEN-T Policy

In line with the 2011 White Paper of the previous section and in view of persisting obstacles at EU level, like:

• missing links, in particular at cross-border sections,

• considerable and enduring infrastructural bottlenecks, in particular with respect to the east-west connections,

• fragmented transportation infrastructure between modes,

• significant investments in transportation infrastructure needed in order to achieve the GHG emission reduction target, and

• interoperability problems due to different operational rules and requirements by the Member States, adding to the transportation infrastructure barriers and bottlenecks,

the Commission has redefined its long-term transportation infrastructure policy up to 2030/2050 through revising the so-called 'TEN-T guidelines' (EP&C, 2013a), which set out priorities and provide implementation measures for the trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

The main objective, i.e. the establishment and development of a complete TEN-T, consisting of infrastructure for railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and air transportation, is pursued through two fields of action.

The first one concerns the 'conceptual planning' of the network for which a dual-

layer approach has been selected, consisting of a comprehensive and a core network. The comprehensive network constitutes the basic layer of the TEN-T and is, in large part, derived from the corresponding national networks. It should be in place by 2050 at the latest. The core network overlays the comprehensive network and consists of its strategically most important parts. It constitutes the backbone of the multimodal mobility network and concentrates on those components of TEN-T with the highest European added value: cross border missing links, key bottlenecks and multimodal nodes. The core network is to be in place by 2030 at the latest.

It is worth mentioning that the guidelines (Article 39) lay down specific requirements for the core network, in addition to the requirements for the comprehensive network. The most prominent among them is the necessity to provide 'alternative clean fuels' for all transportation modes. This term includes fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, biofuels (liquids), synthetic fuels, methane (CNG, LNG and biomethane) and LPG, which serve, at least partly, as a substitute for fossil oil sources in the supply of energy to transport and contribute to its decarbonization. For rail transportation, this requirement is further defined as full electrification of the line tracks and sidings. Furthermore, new railway lines should have a nominal track gauge of 1,435 mm (with certain exceptions), while ERTMS should be fully deployed on all new and existing lines. In addition, the freight lines of the core network should be able to accommodate at least 22.5 ton axle loads, 100 km/h line speeds and running trains with a length of 740 m. For motorways, emphasis is placed on the development of rest areas approximately every 100 km.

The second field of action concerns the implementation instruments. The Commission has developed the concept of 'core network corridors', taking due account of the rail freight corridors introduced with Regulation No 913/2010 (refer to Sect. 1.5.2), as an instrument for the coordinated implementation of the core network. Core network corridors (Article 43):

• cover the most important cross-border long-distance flows in the core network,

• are multimodal in nature and involve at least three transportation modes,

• cross at least two borders, and

• include Motorways of the Sea[1] (MoS), where appropriate.

Annex I to Regulation No 1316/2013 (EP&C, 2013b), establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, which finances EU priority infrastructure in transportation, energy and digital broadband, lists nine core network corridors. They are shown in Fig. 1.2.

Fig. 1.2 The nine TEN-T core network corridors and other connections. Source: EC (2014a)

In terms of governance, the new TEN-T guidelines provide for European Coordinators to be designated by the EC in agreement with the Member States concerned. A European Coordinator shall be assigned to each and every core network corridor, while two additional Coordinators shall be designated for implementing the horizontal ERTMS and MoS respectively. Acting in the name and on behalf of the EC, the European Coordinators shall facilitate the coordinated implementation of the core network corridors. They will be assisted in this task by a secretariat and by a consultative forum (the Corridor Forum), established for each corridor. The European Coordinators shall chair the Corridor Fora, the composition of which shall be agreed with the relevant Member States.

A central task of the European Coordinator is drawing up a corridor work plan and monitoring its implementation, in consultation with the Corridor Forum and the relevant Member States. The work plan shall include (Article 47):

• a description of the characteristics of the core network corridor including its cross-border sections,

• a list of objectives and priorities to be pursued,

• a plan for the removal of physical, technical, operational and administrative barriers between and within transportation modes,

• a deployment plan of interoperable traffic management systems,

• proposed measures to enhance resilience to climate change,

• proposed measures to mitigate GHG emissions, noise and, as appropriate, other negative environmental impacts,

• a list of projects for the extension, renewal or redeployment of transportation infrastructure,

• an analysis of the investment required, including the various funding sources envisaged, at international, national, regional, local and Union levels,

• where appropriate, measures to improve the capacity to design, plan, implement and monitor major transportation projects, and

• details of public consultations supporting the development of the work plan and its implementation.

Based on this information the Commission will adopt implementing acts (decisions) for each corridor.

  • [1] MoS represent the maritime dimension of the TEN-T and consist of maritime links between maritime ports of the comprehensive network including the related facilities and infrastructure for direct land and sea access (Article 21)
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