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POLIS Working Papers - Working paper n. 162

Analysis for the implementation of a sustainable transport model in the eastern Piedmont county of Alessandria, Italy

march 2010


About one third of final energy consumption in the EU-25 is related to transport (not including maritime transport and pipelines). Road transport is by far the dominant sector, consuming nearly 83% of the energy used for transport purposes. Emissions from the transport sector make a significant and growing contribution to the local quality of the air in addition to the EU's overall greenhouse gas emissions: which contributed a total of 24% of GHG emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O) in the EU-27 (including international aviation and maritime transport and excluding land-use change and forestry activities which can remove greenhouse gases or reduce emissions)
Urban and metropolitan areas are particularly important not only because of demand density and high levels of pollution, but also because alternatives to private transport (public transport services, transport demand management, walking and cycling facilities, and so on), are already available and therefore changes in modal shift can be more easily obtained. Consequently, in urban and metropolitan areas a combination of charging policies (congestion charging) and improvements in the public transport supply can significantly reduce emissions even in the short term, particularly if public transport service improvements are achieved through short-term measures. Almost all European governments are focusing on the implementation times of the different types of measures such as:
_Technological improvements concerning both vehicles (energy efficiency improvements, reduction in pollutant emissions) and fuels (development of petroleum alternatives, including first and second generation biofuels, compressed natural gas, as well as – in the long term – advanced alternatives such as hydrogen fuel cells);
_Economic instruments (charging and taxation) based on the polluter-pays principle and pay-as-you-go: road vehicle taxation reform, charging on interurban road (Eurovignette scheme based on weight and emissions classes), road charging in urban areas;
Soft and eco-friendly measures: transport demand management, logistics measures, ICT, to optimise the use of private vehicles, encourage the use of public transport and promote behavioural change.

The aim of this study is to identify economically and environmentally viable measures to reduce significantly the negative impacts of private transport vehicles in the urban and suburban area around Alessandria. The study has been realized under the framework of "Progetto di Ricerca Alfieri" commissioned by Fondazione CRT. The project finds his "inspiration" from the programmatic recommendation of the local authority which reports a growing preference toward the private means of transport over the public one. In particular the plan of the transport department is to identify which routes require higher interconnection within certain towns or cities in the region. The expected result of such implementation is to increase the supply for certain destinations to reduce the air emissions due to the number of private vehicles in use. The reduction in air pollutions would be very beneficial for such a congested area where the morphologic characteristic of the Plain called Pianura Padana determines the worst air quality in the whole country. According the last environmental report on the quality of the air issued by Lega Ambiente, Alessandria is the 10th worst city for the annual total number of breaches in fine particles and the 2nd for the number of annual breaches in NOx.
Chapter One is the introduction and Chapter Two describes the legal framework at local, national and European level. Chapter Three gives national and International examples of good practices in sustainable mobility. Chapter Four explains the methodologies used to estimate the costs and the benefits of local policies. First we describes the demand and supply of transports in the last 20 years in order to enlighten the raise in demand for the private vehicles and the corresponding increase in local and global air emissions in the region. We model the vehicles emissions using the European software COPERT 4 with the traffic dataset provided by the local authority. Three possible scenarios are identified: first is the BAU scenario without policy. The second and third scenarios assume a decrease of private traffic due to the reinforcement of the public one. Chapter Five discusses the results and Chapter Six introduces the external cost methodology and we evaluate the monetary impacts for all scenarios. Chapter Seven concludes.
In order to illustrate in a systematic way all results a final appendix contains all hourly emission per km and per pollutants.


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Periodico mensile on-line "POLIS Working Papers" - Iscrizione n.591 del 12/05/2006 - Tribunale di Alessandria
ISSN: 2038-7296

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