The European Parliament adopted on 19 January 2021 an own-initiative report on the upcoming revision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) guidelines. Among the areas for improvement listed in the report is better integration of cycling and EuroVelo into the guidelines, in line with the ECF proposals.
The Trans-European Transport Network is the EU’s flagship transport policy, covering a network of roads, railway lines, inland waterways, ports, maritime shipping routes, airports, and railroad terminals in Europe. The ECF closely follows the current revision process for the TEN-T and advocates two measures to ensure cycling is better integrated into the TEN-T:
- Recognition of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network a part of the TEN-T network.
- Integration of cycling into projects on other networks – so when building or upgrading for example a railroad line, the potential for cycling along and across the line is evaluated, and key elements, such as bridges and tunnels, are integrated into the project.
The parliamentary report, adopted by the Committee on Transport and Tourism on 10 December 2020, and by the European Parliament’s plenary on 19 January 2021, calls for taking into account the needs of non-motorised transport users. It also points out the potential of novel and active modes of connected mobility in the urban and local transport of people and goods. Finally, the report calls on the European Commission to explore possible synergies with EuroVelo, notably by increasing financial support, in order to promote local and environmentally friendly cycle tourism in Europe. During the plenary debate, many speakers stressed the importance of transport in general and the TEN-T policy in particular for reaching climate-neutrality by 2050.
It is worth noting that in the process of preparing the report, pro-cycling amendments were tabled by MEPs from four different major political groups. The final text was adopted in the TRAN Committee almost unanimously (47 votes for, 1 against, 1 abstain), demonstrating wide political support for integrating cycling in upcoming revision of the TEN-T guidelines.
The European Commission plans to present a concrete legislative proposal for the TEN-T revision in autumn 2021.