The amount of freight transported by rail should double, it says. Without intervention, road freight would instead increase its share from 64% to 70% and rail freight would drop from 20% to 16% by 2010. Car traffic is projected to grow by 20% by 2015 and freight transport by two thirds based on 1997 levels.
Also highlighted are the much heralded introduction in 2003 of distance and emissions-based tolls for heavy vehicles, which are intended to make Germany's waterways and rail network competitive for freight transport. Reversing a trend of falling investment, additional funding is earmarked for the railways, dependent on Deutsche Bahn increasing its efforts to rationalise the network. Transport minister Reinhard Klimmt said: "The best anti-traffic congestion programme is a railway which can absorb a high volume of freight traffic".
Environmental group Bund criticised the report, saying that its traffic growth projections called for a U-turn in transport policy. "Modern transport policy should be based on creativity and intelligence instead of asphalt and concrete," it said.
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