The Commission’s Pilot Actions for Combined Transport (PACT) programme has allocated grants to 17 commercial projects promoting intermodal transport on 26 July. PACT aims to decrease freight traffic on roads by promoting the use of other, less polluting forms of transport.
The European Commission has awarded final grants under the PACT programme. A total amount of 7.5 million euro will be shared among 17 selected projects. The funding was allocated as follows:
- rail-related projects (44 percent): e.g. private rail traction on Brenner axis linking Germany and Italy;
- short sea projects (29 percent): e.g. project improving links between Scotland and European economic centres;
- inland waterway projects (13 percent): e.g. high-quality intermodal barge services from Rotterdam to Budapest;
- projects involving several modes (13 percent): e.g. sea-river transportation service between Castillia (Spain) and Germany via Oporto (Portugal), using recently updated infrastructure on the Douro river;
- feasibility studies (1 percent).
According to the Commission, the selected actions should relieve congested road corridors by about 5 billion tonne-kilometres.
The Pilot Actions for Combined Transport (PACT) programme allocates funding to international and innovative commercial combined transport projects.The purpose of combined transport policy is take freight traffic from the road to other, more environmentally friendly modes, such as rail, inland waterway or short sea shipping. Combined transport is also designed to increase road safety and reduce traffic congestion. The 1997-2001 budget for the PACT programme is about €35 million. PACT comes to an end in December 2001, but will be succeeded by a programme called Marco Polo.
The PACT programme will be followed by another promotion programme, Marco Polo. Like PACT, Marco Polo will support commercial actions in the market for transport services.