The development of the Trans-European Network (TEN-T) increases the opportunities for long distance multi-modal transport across Europe. However, while appraisal procedures for decisions on individual transport investments are well established, the impacts of long-range transport chains are less well understood. As well as the more obvious environmental benefits, network investments are believed to contribute to more spatially balanced economic development and social cohesion. Increased accessibility is particularly important for peripheral regions of the EU and the candidate countries for accession.
EUROSIL aimed to develop robust guidelines to support decision-making on TEN-T and other transport investments, which would take into account the impacts of multi-modal links on regional development.
Through a series of 12 case studies, EUROSIL identified examples of good practice in appraising the benefits of multi-modal transport investments. However, it was clear that few of the current modelling approaches deal explicitly with regional development effects, and there are further deficiencies in the evaluation of those impacts.
Therefore, EUROSIL developed an evaluation framework and software tool to support a structured approach to the assessment of regional development effects. This covers the selection of criteria for the evaluation, the estimation of impacts, and the definition of weighting factors for combining different impacts according to the selected criteria. Guidance is provided on the choice of traffic modelling methods.
For those cases where the decision-maker requires a quick low-cost evaluation of alternatives rather than a sophisticated evaluation, EUROSIL has constructed a simplified set of guidelines.
The case studies highlighted a number of barriers to intermodality:
- inadequate information flows between the variety of actors;
- problems with slow procedures at border crossings;
- differences in technical standards and regulations between Member States, e.g. for vehicle size and weight;
- a lack of co-ordination at interchanges (such as different companies working different hours);
- a lack of interoperability between modes, for instance concerning ticketing and information systems.
The EUROSIL evaluation framework is now available for use in real-life decisions on the TEN-T and other major long-distance transport projects. Its incorporation into new developments of user-friendly investment appraisal tools is recommended.