Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-03-Speech-3-431"

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"Madam President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, my group supports the own-initiative report by the Committee on Transport and Tourism with its multifaceted proposals for freight transport in Europe. The framework conditions for environmentally friendly freight transport tailored to suit market needs are crucial for growth and employment in the European Union. I must also say, however, that the European Union and the Member States are being called upon to increase their efforts considerably in developing and upgrading efficient transport structures. We shall be reminding the Commission of this when we carry out the mid-term review of finances. Making grand speeches does not help if the money is not made available to upgrade the trans-European networks. Upgrading the transport infrastructures applies in particular to rail transport. The priority here is to upgrade the most heavily used rail corridors and equip them with the ERTMS cross-border European rail traffic control system so that we quickly shift freight transport from road to rail. However, to tell you the truth, Commissioner, when you compiled the list of proposals for freight services – I still remember that Neil Kinnock had already had the idea of separate rail networks for freight transport – you were once again acting on the Commission’s proposal ‘Towards a rail network giving priority to freight’. Since that time nobody at the Commission has been talking about this because you and we know that there is not enough money to provide a second rail network alongside a normal, sensibly developed system tailored to suit market needs. As the Commission you should therefore be telling the truth: the idea of separate freight networks is dead. Let us develop sensible, dual-use networks: primarily passenger trains by day and primarily freight trains by night. We then have to resolve the problem of noise because in cities in Germany and elsewhere, and along the Rhine, the noise at night really gets on citizens’ nerves and stops them sleeping. Therefore, let us talk about practical sound-proofing measures on the railways, on the trans-European networks and on the dual use of the rail network. It is even more important, however, that we take sensible action on the logistics. That, Mr Cramer, is mentioned all too little in the report. It is important that the Member States and the EU work more effectively together with industry and the service enterprises in order to make better use of the freight logistics. The use of logistics is, of course, a primary task of the enterprises. They know best how logistics are used. However, the European Union and the Member States can help by lifting unnecessary national restrictions and – this I fully concede to Mr Cramer – by providing standard customs documents, for example, in order that better use can be made of the logistics. Let us therefore upgrade the infrastructure nationally and let us cooperate with the industry in determining the best use of transport logistics."@en1

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