Observatory for traffic through the Alps operational
Transit through the Alps: the observatory for traffic in the Alpine region is now operational
Brussels, Belgium – The representatives of the European Commission and the Swiss Government 2007-03-16 held their first meeting with experts from the observatory for traffic in the Alpine region. This is the first working meeting of the new permanent observatory, which has been set up to monitor road, rail and combined traffic in the Alpine region.
"The creation of the observatory for traffic in the Alpine region represents a major step forward" said Jacques Barrot, the Commission Vice-President with special responsibility for transport. "Policy-makers will now be able to closely monitor the development of traffic in this major transit region in which the balance between economic, social and environmental sustainability is particularly fragile".
The observatory was set up under the inland transport agreement between the EU and Switzerland. It operates under the supervision of a working party of representatives of the Commission, the Member States and Switzerland. The technical tasks, namely the gathering and analysis of statistics and the drafting of reports have been assigned to a specialised private company.
The observatory will centralise statistics from surveys and studies carried out in the various Alpine countries. Its reports will provide an overview of all traffic flows and of the trend in trans-Alpine rail and road freight traffic. The EU and Switzerland will thus have at their disposal the information needed in the event of transit problems or disturbances affecting trans-Alpine traffic, in order to be able to decide on appropriate measures. The results of the observatory’s work will also serve as a basis for any initiative aimed at improving and harmonising the management of traffic through the Alps.
The observatory’s first report is expected in June 2007.