On 19 October 2011, the European Commission published its proposal for revised TEN-T Guidelines and the Connecting Europe Facility. The Commission’s proposal reflects the commitment of the European Union to make transport accessible for all users.
In particular, in article 43 of the TEN-T Guidelines, the Commission stated that “transport infrastructure shall allow seamless mobility and accessibility for all users, in particular elderly people, persons of reduced mobility and disabled passengers”.
Mobility is a fundamental right for EU citizens. In this respect, accessible transport infrastructure is crucial for the provision of accessible transport services, is fundamental for freedom of movement and is vital for Europe’s socio-economic welfare. In practice, it would allow older people, persons of reduced mobility and disabled passengers to participate in and benefit from the internal market as any other citizens in the EU.
Accessibility of transport has become a crucial societal challenge. It is also in the interest of the transport industry to work with accessible infrastructure in order to meet the needs of elderly people, persons of reduced mobility and disabled passengers, and to adapt to this increasing market opportunity. In addition, experience from countries that have made their transport systems accessible through, for example, a comprehensive network of accessible multimodal terminals, show that this has boosted the number of transport users and helped them improve their objective to make mobility greener.
Therefore, we call on the Council and the European Parliament to maintain article 43 of the proposal COM (2011) 650 final concerning the accessibility of transport infrastructure for all users.
> THE COALITION
ACI Europe – Airports Council International
AGE Platform Europe
CER – Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies
ECC – European Cruise Council
ECSA – European Community Shipowners’ Associations
EDF – European Disability Forum
EPF – European Passengers’ Federation
ESPO – European Sea Ports Organisation