A range of barriers (e.g. the need for cooperation between organisations, lack of awareness of sustainable mobility issues among stakeholder organisations and the general public, economic and social barriers, the long time frame for urban planning, etc.) exist which hinder the successful introduction of soft measures on a scale sufficient to make a lasting impact on travel behaviour and energy consumption.
Soft measures (such as information and marketing campaigns to encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking, car clubs and car pooling, mobility management initiatives etc.) can make a significant contribution to the EU goals for energy saving, set out in the Green Paper on Security of Energy Supply and meet some of the aims of the Transport White Paper. Research shows that well conceived soft measures integrated with other transport improvements can reduce private car traffic by as much as 20%.
MIDAS addresses some of the target areas set out by the Vertical Key Action 9 (VKA9) of the IEE Work Programme, such as:
- increasing and promoting the attractiveness of clean and energy-efficient public transport and non-motorised modes;
- raising the awareness of mobility management issues;
- transfer of knowledge and experience toward places where energy use in transport has not yet been sufficiently addressed.
The prime objective of MIDAS was to encourage transfer to less energy intense modes of transport by optimising the use of soft measures aimed at reducing demand for private motorised transport MIDAS included the following key actions:
- a review of city land use and mobility plans and the potential contribution of soft measures;
- innovative consultation approaches with a wide range of stakeholders;
- a range of measures to encourage the use of walking, cycling and public transport;
- training workshops to transfer knowledge and experience, with particular reference to New Member States;
- evaluating the impacts of the measures implemented;
- a strong dissemination programme.
MIDAS was implemented by partners in 6 case study cities which are representative of a wide part of the enlarged Europe :
- Liverpool (UK),
- Aalborg (DK),
- Cork (IRL),
- Clermont Ferrand (FR),
- Bologna (IT)
- and Suceava (RO).
The cities, with different contexts although common points and interests, shared recent experience with urban land use and mobility planning and implemented specific case studies in MIDAS, linked to the overall urban plans.
In particular, the urban plans and planning processes of the 6 cities were compared and contrasted to understanding local barriers to improving energy efficiency and the potential contribution of soft measures to help achieve the goals of the plans. In each site case studies took place, involving implementation of one or more elements of each city plan, and took into account how best to involve a broad range of stakeholders and make them aware of sustainable mobility issues, including both formal working groups and informal methods (e.g. one-to-one discussions with individual developers).
A variety of soft measures were introduced to encourage transfer to less energy-intensive modes among a number of specific target groups. Tools include promotional campaigns, car-pooling and car-sharing schemes.
Each site assessed the local context before and after its local project implementation, through a variety of quantitative and qualitative indicators.
- Established new consultation processes with a variety of target groups and stakeholders that have enabled the partners to develop and extend their approach to soft measures.
- Designed and implemented a range of different examples of soft measures in different city environments
- Evaluation of the measures in terms of impacts on travel behaviour and attitudes, emissions and energy consumption
- Organisation of 2 Training Workshops for authorities and stakeholders in New Member States plus local training events in Madrid and Lisbon
- The project will be able to transfer knowledge and experiences to decision-makers in other cities. The MIDAS results could be especially relevant to the new EU Member States as they begin to form sustainable transport policies.
- Soft measures are effective in raising awareness of the benefits of energy efficient modes of travel, and in achieving a level of modal transfer. In order to maximise effectiveness, a sustained awareness campaign is required over the longer term.
- Barriers can be overcome by effective consultation allowing stakeholders to work together to identify solutions and to design information and marketing campaigns. To assist citizens in changing their travel habits it is important to involve them directly in the design and implementation of soft measures.
- Soft measures alone are not enough; an excellent promotional campaign will only have limited effect if the transport service whose use is being encouraged is of poor quality.