Fleet News

Cohesive thinking needed for travel

A MAJOR new report showing that European road and rail travel is on the increase has prompted calls for planners to come up with a co-ordinated transport programme for the entire continent.

The European Transport Report, produced by Avis, provides statistics for France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. It shows that the car is the preferred means of travel and that the number of road users is steadily increasing.

Second-quarter figures for 2002 show that France alone recorded a decrease (-1.2%) in motorway traffic. In the UK, the 36.1 million trips recorded marked a 1.4% increase compared to the same period the previous year, while Germany's 57.6 million motorway trips was 2% higher.

The report found that the biggest percentage increases were in Italy (up 5.6% to 28.2 million trips) and Spain, where the number of trips increased by 7% to 24.1 million.

Rail travel during the second quarter is also increasing across Europe too. Germans made 491 million trips (up 0.5%) while the French made 232.8 million trips, an increase of 3.8%. Spanish rail trips increased 5.4% to 125.4 million, while Italy's total of 122.9 million trips was up by 3%, the report said.

However, in the UK passengers made 231 million trips - down 1.7% compared to the second quarter of 2001.

Avis chief executive Mark McCafferty responded by calling for European nations to work together to provide a joint approach to encouraging travellers to use the most effective means of transport.

He said: 'The challenge for the European Commission's transport planners is to ensure an inter-modal infrastructure is in place to enable the increasing number of truly pan-European companies to do business effectively both domestically and internationally.'

According to Avis' research, the total number of trips by all means of transport, including road, rail, air and ferry, was up 2.5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2001. The growth amounts to an extra 240 million journeys.

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