Integrating Safety into the EU’s Urban Transport Policy

  • June 5, 2013

Transport safety is an essential component of sustainable urban mobility and should be firmly integrated into the mobility planning processes by cities. A total of 38% of road
deaths occur in urban areas in 2009. The EU has set a target to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2020 as well as the longer term “vision zero” by 2050. The European Commission recently adopted its ‘First Milestone towards a Serious Injury Strategy’ in March this year. This new initiative is also highly relevant to the urban mobility package as a larger proportion of serious injuries occur in urban areas and involves vulnerable road users.

The European Commission is planning to present an urban mobility package in late 2013. The White Paper included these possibilities within its list of initiatives: to establish procedures and financial support mechanisms at European level for preparing Urban Mobility Audits, as well as Urban Mobility Plans, and set up a European Urban Mobility Scoreboard based on common targets. ETSC’s expectations of the European Commission’s upcoming urban mobility package is that it will lay out measures that will contribute to reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020 in urban areas.

Transport safety should be considered as an essential component of sustainable mobility and mobility planning. In attempting to secure change in urban mobility patterns, road safety can be regarded as a critical challenge, largely because of the social and economic cost of road collisions. As such, safety should be tackled at all levels of mobility planning. Real and perceived safety can have a profound effect on modal choice especially in terms of the most sustainable modes of travel – walking and cycling and ability to access public transport. ETSC strongly recommends that safety should be integrated not only into the development of Urban Mobility Plans but also into proposed Urban Mobility Audits and Guidelines and be reflected in common targets.