A car-free day in Brussels. Normally, it's Europe’s fourth most congested city. Fewer people using cars on working days would help. Every street must occasionally be redone and there are budgets for it. It doesn’t cost more whether you create plenty of room for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport or whether you create plenty of room for cars. We need to find ways to reduce the volume of traffic in cities like Brussels. For this there is on the one hand public transport, and on the other, systems which force motorists to change their mode of transport, for example road tolls or other tax systems. The car-free day marks the start of European Mobility Week, devoted to encouraging us to walk and cycle more. Politicians know it will require tough decisions, though. We must at all costs tend to air quality, the quality of life of all those living in town. The EU could do a lot more on air quality to impose more ambitious programmes on cities to reduce congestion and to develop transport alternatives. MEPs are being shown a movie about cycle couriers as part of Mobility Week. In congested cities they’re the fastest delivery service, even if EU institutions seem unconvinced. In the private sector we are very successful. In the public sector we’re almost zero. But the public, it seems, are taking to two wheels in increasing numbers. It’s very convenient because they’re everywhere. I feel it’s encouraging many people to buy their own bicycle. Congestion is driving more of us onto public transport. The number of journeys in Brussels doubled over the last decade. Coping with growing demand won’t be cheap. By 2016 we expect 400 million trips, an increase to 400 million trips, which is 20% more than today, so we need to invest about 1.2 billion euros, even 1.8 billion euros into public transport. Some 80% of us will live in urban environments by 2020. European Mobility Week reminds us why freedom of movement is so important.
EuroparlTV video ID: caeab277-a129-4e90-8e94-a0cf010e2350