EU intelligent transport systems plan stalls

22 Jun 2009 View Comments
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ITS could alleviate congestion

MPs have postponed a debate on European Commission proposals to control the direction of intelligent transport systems (ITS) across Europe.

The Commons European Committee said a debate seemed appropriate but it would not take a decision until it had information on how the Commission intends to amend proposals for a draft directive and how the next Swedish-led presidency of the EU will carry the issue forward.

Further reading

The plan to introduce Europe-wide ITS has stalled as countries debate the best way to co-ordinate adoption. To date, different countries have introduced ITS in different ways, and no effort has been made to harmonise activity.

ITS cover the use of information and communication networks to improve the efficiency of transport networks by better informing - and in some cases charging - those who are using them. The UK is among the leaders in this field.

The EC introduced a framework directive that it hoped to use to mandate member states to co-ordinate systems. But the UK - alongside others such as Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands - feel that such a forced approach would be a mistake. The UK wants a more market-based approach, with interoperability standards provided centrally.

The committee was told the UK government supports the general objectives of the Commission but did not believe all its objectives required legislation.

A report to Parliament said the UK supports an approach using co-ordination and co-operation.

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