A funding scheme supporting sustainable and efficient freight transport services
CER considers that a funding scheme supporting sustainable and efficient freight transport services as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) instrument is a pre-requisite to the fulfilment of the 2011 Transport White Paper vision. Such a scheme should be completed by appropriate framework conditions to guarantee sufficient investment in sustainable transport infrastructure, to put all modes on a level playing field and to remove technical and administrative bottlenecks and cut red tape.
The design of such a scheme as part of the CEF should take into account lessons learnt from the Marco Polo programmes, and its core objective should be modal shift, in line with the transport White Paper. This scheme should offer a mix of grants, loans at low interest rates and guarantees, in synergy with other priorities of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) instrument. Grants should be used to correct market limitations hampering the development of alternatives to road transport, to support the building and renewal of small-scale infrastructure (such as rail sidings) and to co-fund projects aimed at increasing the competitiveness of sustainable and efficient alternatives to road transport.