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'What transport issues does Europe face in the 21st century and what are the solutions?'

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Introduction

Hamish Reeves 'What transport issues does Europe face in the 21st century and what are the solutions?' Across the world, and throughout Europe, cities are faced with growing transport problems. Obviously this is due to an increase in congestion, brought about by a continual growth in urban areas. A starting point is the increasing ownership of cars throughout the world, where the number of vehicles owned could rise to 816 million by 2010. Ownership is concentrated in MEDC's, and Europe, unlike others continents in the world, is full of these, therefore the number of cars is particularly high. Reasons for this increase in urban traffic include growing urban populations, although people are staring to commute from rural areas in MEDC's, a growth in urban incomes, which allow a greater numbers of cars to be purchased. The number of smaller households has also meant that more cars are needed to serve the same number of people. The number of journeys people are taking has also increased as cars numbers have increased, and people are now choosing to use a car as a replacement for a journey that used to be done on foot, by bike or by public transport. ...read more.

Middle

The EU funds this project. French city of Bordeaux has been suffering from similar problems to Bristol, its twin city. The traffic in Bordeaux is extremely bad, with narrow roads and poor public transport options. For taxi drivers this has been a bonus, as they are now being asked to drive longer journeys and as a result are earning more, from those who do not want to face the stress of driving through the congested city. There was a tramline running through Bordeaux, however this was an unattractive transport option and unsuccessful, and the local authorities decided to rip it out. People recently, and in the past, do not want to take the bus, as they believe it is the 'poor mans option'. It is also feared that the Bordeaux residents simply do not realise how public transport can help the environment. To solve these problems, a new tramway is now being built. It is planned to be 65 km long, and this will be the biggest in France. It will have a massive impact on the city in a positive way, including reducing vast pollution levels. The tram is powered by electricity and produces no harmful emissions, replacing the carbon monoxide ones produced by the city's cars. ...read more.

Conclusion

The new public transport system will gradually be upgraded in order to improve services and to follow requirements of urban development. Originally 73% of Hanover's population had a tram stop within 600 metres. It was hoped that by the year 2000 the extension of routes would bring about a connecting rate of 83%. The remaining areas have to be served by bus. The extension routes and the new Stadtbahn have seen the introduction of customer friendly rolling stock. As discussed earlier 134 new low-floored vehicles that offer greater comfort and more space for luggage, baby carriers, wheelchairs, and bicycles have been introduced with great success. The first 20 of these vehicles were introduced in 1997. In 1994 the Hanover public transport policy implemented the following improvements in operation and service: - After 8 pm all buses stop between two stops if requested by a passenger, extension of bus routes at weekend to transport public to recreation areas, some new buses that run on new compressed natural gas technology, further increase in bus and taxi activity, and opening of bus stops designed by international artists. These improvements are hoped to attract even more passengers to stop using their cars, to get the percentage of car users down from 45% in 1990, making Hanover an even more attractive, environmentally friendly European city. ...read more.

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