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C 142/98 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.5.


(1999/C 142/119) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3159/98

by Concepció Ferrer (PPE) to the Commission

(19 October 1998)

Subject: Work programme for the period 1998-2000 with regard to the development of local and regional
transport networks

The Commission recently presented its work programme for the period 1998-2000 for the development of
local and regional transport networks aimed at promoting the exchange of information in the field of
transport between different regions in the European Union.

Under this programme, the Commission hopes to draw up a manual for carrying out comparative analyses
in the area of local passenger transport.

Can the Commission say what criteria were followed in the selection of the 15 cities which will participate
in the drafting of said manual?

Did the Commission receive proposals from cities in all the Member States?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(30 November 1998)

The pilot benchmarking project cited by the Honourable Member aims to establish methods for cities to
compare the performance of their transport systems with those of others and to learn from best practice. It
covers all modes of passenger transport, not just public transport.

The Commission asked several European associations of local authorities and of public transport
operators to bring the project to the attention of cities that might be interested. 45 cities (from 8 Member
States plus the Czech republic) expressed an interest. Budget limits meant that only 15 could be accepted.
As stated in the Commission’s letter inviting expressions of interest, the criteria for selecting these were
evidence of: commitment, at a senior level, to implementing change in order to improve the performance
of their local transport system; staff with the time needed to take part in the project; the availability of
basic data on their local transport system (covering aspects like the amounts of travel by different forms of
transport, travel by different social groups, and public expenditure on transport); and a willingness to
make some of this data publicly available. In addition, the Commission aimed to find participants from
cities of different sizes and from different regions of the Community.

Bodies from two Spanish cities expressed an interest in taking part in the project. Unfortunately, neither
met the project’s criteria. One application related only to one specific form of public transport, rather than
to the whole transport system. The other did not provide sufficient information to allow its application to
be evaluated against the criteria that had been defined. Their interest, and that of all applicants was,
however, greatly appreciated.

The results of the first stage of the project (a guide to performance assessment) should be available in the
first part of 1999. The Commission will ensure that copies are sent to the cities which were not selected
and that they are kept informed of the further development of the project.