The next decade should see an expanding European Union with the Central and Eastern European countries and the Baltic States as new members. Transport is proving to be one of the key areas for integrating these countries. There are several gaps in their transport systems and it is unclear how this will affect European transport networks. The strategic planning of infrastructure investments to start to close these gaps is therefore of vital importance.
Multi-modal corridors represent costly infrastructure investments that may only be realised in the long-term through phasing. Prioritisation is thus unavoidable. Classically, economic evaluations are critical in decisions on projects. However, in the broader socio-economic and political context of network development, a more strategic assessment method is needed to aid prioritisation.
The objective of CODE-TEN was to develop a strategic policy assessment methodology for evaluating the impacts of the development of pan-European corridors. The project addressed the following questions:
- What tool should be used to assess the impacts of large-scale networks?
- How is strategic policy assessment related to the assessment of corridor developments?
- Which infrastructure policy fits in best with the objectives of the Common Transport Policy of the European Union?
- How should policy assessment be linked with project assessment?
CODE-TEN produced a tool for assessing transport corridor developments. The tool applies a scenario approach to elaborate consistent images of the future that combine information on three aspects: socio-economic development, policy development and infrastructure planning.
Using these images, the alternatives for corridor development are subjected to impact assessment to help in decision-making.
The images build on 4 scenarios of socio-economic and political developments through to the year 2015 are namely:
- Renaissance - high economic growth and fast integration of neighbouring countries into the EU.
- Dilution - high growth and slow integration.
- Solidarity - low growth and fast integration.
- Fragmentation - low growth and slow or no integration.
A comprehensive information system was produced on a CD-ROM covering 30 European countries. This provides information on politics, regional socio-economic data, regional road information, foreign trade, transport costs, resource costs, networks and maps. It has supported in-depth corridor studies on: Via Baltica, Berlin-Warsaw-Moscow, Dresden - Budapest - Istanbul, Venice - Kiev, The Danube Waterway, Copenhagen - Stockholm - Helsinki - Moscow, Salzburg - Belgrade - Thessaloniki, the Mediterranean short sea shipping and the Lisbon-Madrid-Paris Trans-European link.
Descriptions of infrastructure strategies and traffic flow estimations (based on the development of the various scenarios and corridors until the year 2015) have led to the impact assessment of the various alternatives for corridor development, focusing on accessibility, environment and socio-economic factors. Combinations of road and rail projects were generally found to offer the greatest benefits.
Potential users of the guidelines are road authorities, public transport authorities, scientific institutions, industries and consultancies. TASTE guidelines are expected to enable them to gain more ideas as to how best select tools, develop data sets and apply tools. Surveys can be better targeted and the cost of data collection can be reduced. The use of the guidelines enables the investigation of the interactions of TDM measures when implementing them in packages, which has the potential to lead to an improved acceptance of the measures.