Below is the text of the statement made by Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, in the House of Commons on 3 April 2019.
The Romanian presidency hosted an informal meeting of Transport Ministers in Bucharest on Wednesday 27 March. This was not a formal Council meeting and no decisions were taken. This statement provides a summary of discussions. The UK was represented by officials.
The meeting discussed multimodality, sustainability, infrastructure and road safety. On multimodality, participants underlined the importance of developing a comprehensive approach to multimodal transport. Integrated ticketing systems, promotion of car-sharing or public transport, digitalisation and interoperability were identified as means for developing multimodality.
On sustainability, participants discussed the importance of action to reduce the impact of transport on climate change, recognising the challenges raised by an increasing need for mobility and the negative impact on the climate. Policy and practical approaches to encouraging multimodal transport were discussed, with many interventions focusing on possible measures to be taken in order to decarbonise transport such as: promotion of alternative fuels, digitalisation, better planning of services, uptake of new technologies, and incentives for use of public transport or cycling.
The Commission set out its thinking on the revision of the TEN-T regulation, following the launch of its review process in March, and its plans for consultation with stakeholders and member states in the next few months. Participants welcomed the Commission’s initiative to start the revision process of the TEN-T regulation and discussed future funding options for the promotion of priority projects.
Over lunch the meeting heard some presentations on road safety. The European Commission stressed the importance of member states implementing the “Vision zero” to reduce fatalities and severe injuries on roads. The European Commission will be seeking to re-focus its efforts in this area by introducing a new policy framework on road safety for 2021-30. In addition, it will seek to foster a partnership with the European Investment Bank to provide the “Safer Transport Facility” with the aim of providing a “one stop shop” to support member states in achieving the objective.
The UK did not intervene substantively.