In the White Paper — European Transport Policy for 2010: Time to Decide1, we are told that:
“Because of congestion, there is a serious risk that Europe will lose economic competitiveness. The most recent study on the subject showed that the external costs of road traffic congestion alone amount to 0.5% of Community GDP (gross domestic product). Traffic forecasts for the next 10 years show that if nothing is done, road congestion will increase significantly by 2010. The costs attributable to congestion will also increase by 142% to reach 80 billion Euros a year, which is approximately 1% of Community GDP.
With respect to sustainable surface transport, the following actions were envisaged… increasing safety, and avoiding traffic congestion (in particular in urban areas), through the integration of innovative electronics and software solutions and by means of the use of advanced satellite navigation systems and telematic solutions.”
The European Commission’s white paper emphasizes the fact that the limited capacity of road infrastructures available to users, and constantly increasing demands with regard to traffic2, goods, and people, are the source of numerous problems encountered by highly industrialized societies. These problems, related mainly to recurring or non-recurrent congestion phenomena in large metropolitan areas in particular, are an obstacle to the socioeconomic evolution of our societies and are ...