A new programme of EU subsidies designed to shift growth in freight transport away from roads and onto rail and ships has been proposed by the European Commission. If adopted as outlined, the ten-year "Marco Polo" scheme would vastly increasing European funding for greener freight transport, channelling euros 23m per year towards new non-road services.
Set out in a draft regulation, the Marco Polo programme is expected to be the EU's primary instrument aimed at ending road transport's ever-increasing share of the overall transport market. Returning to 1998 market shares for each transport mode by 2010 was the headline environmental target in the Commission's transport white paper published last autumn (EED 12/09/01).
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