The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy addresses the implementation and development of a Europe-wide network of railway lines, roads, inland waterways, maritime shipping routes, ports, airports and railroad terminals.
The EU Commission recently published its proposal for a revised TEN-T Regulation. The new proposal updates this transport network and proposes updated infrastructure requirements as well as deadlines to implement these. The proposal contains many new elements compared to the existing 2013 Regulation focused on increased standards.
Contents of Proposal
The proposal contains many new elements compared to the existing 2013 Regulation, including:
- High infrastructure standards for all modes applied throughout the entire network.
- Nine ‘European Transport Corridors’, representing the main arteries of EU transport, that integrate the former Core Network Corridors with the Rail Freight Corridors.
- Stronger synergies between infrastructure planning and the operation of transport services.
- Requirements for the deployment of charging and refuelling infrastructure for alternative transport fuels in line with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation. This would mean sufficient charging capacity for cars, vans and trucks at 60 kilometres distance in each direction by 2025 on the core network and by 2030 for the extended core and comprehensive networks.
- Providing safe and secure parking areas for commercial drivers, equipped with alternative fuels infrastructure.
- Use of innovative technologies like 5G to further advance the digitalisation of transport infrastructure, further increasing efficiency, and improving the safety, security and resilience of the network.
- Increased resilience of the TEN-T network to natural and human-made disasters via climate-proofing requirements and environmental impact assessments for new projects, and to the implications of an accident or breakdown (e.g. by enabling alternative route alignments to the main network).
- A requirement that environmental assessments for projects on the network must include an assessment of compliance with the “do no significant harm” principle.
- The requirement for 424 major urban nodes (including Cork, Dublin, and Galway) on the TEN-T network to have sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) by 2025 in order to align their mobility developments on the TEN-T network. The SUMPs will contain measures such as the promotion of zero-emission mobility and the greening of the urban fleet.
- More transhipment hubs and multimodal passenger terminals in cities to facilitate multimodality, in particular for the last mile of a passenger or freight journey.
- Connect large airports to rail, where possible high-speed rail.
Implications for Ireland’s Roads
Overall, there is no changes to the TEN T network for roads in Ireland, with the Core and Comprehensive Networks remaining as it has been since 2013.
However, what is changing are the requirements for increased standards and local authorities will be responsible for implementing these changes. For the Core road network (thick red line on map) these standards must be put in place by 2030, whilst for the Comprehensive network (thin red lines on map) these must be completed by 2050.
In the proposal issued by the European Commission, the increased standards for the Core road network (by 2030), include ensuring the use of latest technologies, using low noise road surfaces and ensuring that alternative fuels infrastructure is deployed. For the Comprehensive network (by 2050) there are proposed requirements that roads are specially designed, built or upgraded, that there are rest areas available at a maximum distance of 60 km from each other and that there are safe and secure parking areas available at a maximum distance of 100 km from each other.
Also to note are the requirements for major urban nodes (including Cork, Dublin, and Galway) on the TEN-T network. They need to have sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) in place by 2025 so as they align their mobility developments on the TEN-T network. The SUMPs will contain measures such as the promotion of zero-emission mobility and the greening of the urban fleet.
These proposals will now pass through the EU legislative process and are subject to negotiations and agreement by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. The final text may differ, but each Member State is bound by the final agreement and must implement the agreed changes by the agreed timescales.
A full overview of the TEN-T Maps can be found here:
Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the proposal, please feel free to contact the EU unit at the Department of Transport in Ireland at: EUCoordination@transport.gov.ie