23/10/2012

EU Transport Policy Must Acknowledge Regional Variances

European Transport policy must take into account the existence of regional variances within transport needs in countries like Northern Ireland, according to Roads Minister Danny Kennedy.

The Minister made the comment during a visit to Northern Ireland from Brian Simpson, Chair of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee.

Mr Simpson’s visit came about as a result of the Minister’s recent trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Danny Kennedy had invited the EU Transport Chair to learn more about transport need and networks in Northern Ireland.

Minister Kennedy said: "European Transport policy needs to take account of regional variances in terms of transport needs and existing infrastructure. For example, unlike most parts of Europe, freight is transported entirely by road in Northern Ireland and it would not be economically viable to upgrade our rail network to transport freight."

The comments come as the European Parliament's Transport Committee considers a new Trans-European Transport Network Regulation (TEN-T) along with its funding instrument, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Regulation.

The Minister added: "The TEN-T and CEF regulations will determine how people and goods move throughout the EU for many years to come. It is important that we continue to work to ensure our transport infrastructure meets our future needs and supports economic growth by facilitating investment from other member states and beyond."

(IT)

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