The European Court of Auditors is conducting an audit to assess the progress made in recent years across member states in managing traffic congestion.

A Eurobarometer survey recently indicated that around 60 per cent of EU citizens consider congestion to be the most serious problem affecting mobility
The main aim of the EU action is to monitor whether the mobility of people in cities and densely populated areas has improved, and the auditors will look at how effectively member states have used EU funding.

“Efficient mobility management is a key issue for urban areas,” said Iliana Ivanova, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. “Traffic congestion is a growing daily problem for many people in the EU and road transport is responsible for a significant part of air pollution and environmental noise in urban areas.”

Around 70 per cent of Europe’s population lives in urban areas, and this figure is expected to increase. Urban mobility refers to all travel options and associated activities in a city or urban area. It depends on several factors, including land use, car ownership and mobility policies.

Inefficient travel networks in urban areas cost member state economies an estimated €110 billion each year – over 1 per cent of the EU member states’ combined GDP, while the health costs of air pollution amount to several hundred billion euro per year. Research shows that in highly congested regions, free-flowing traffic could mean productivity gains of up to 30 per cent.

The EU has put in place a range of policies, and the Commission has promoted sustainable mobility plans to help member states address the challenges facing urban mobility. More than €60 billion from the EU budget has been made available to put such initiatives into action during the 2014-2020 period.

The full preview is available at eca.europa.eu in English.

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