Highlights EU Green Week event: Mobility | Berenschot news

Highlights from the EU Green Week partner event: Mobility

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Highlights from the EU Green Week partner event: Mobility

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Date

16 July 2021

Reading time

3 minutes

The EU Green Week is Europe’s biggest annual environmental event. This year's edition saw record involvement from citizens and stakeholders around the EU. Berenschot organised an EU Green Week partner event on the future of cross-border mobility on June 24.

The event included a plenary discussion with several thought-provoking ideas from three keynote speakers:

  • Wim van de Camp - Dutch Ambassador for the European Year of Rail | Former member of the European Parliament
  • Ingrid Vermeer - Programme Manager City of Venlo
  • Martin Fröhlich - CEO at Mother Earth Ventures | Mentor at Cambridge University Startup and Enterprise Program | Sr. Manager at Deutsche Bahn

According to Wim van de Camp, the EU member states should take more responsibility to improve cross-border mobility in the EU. ‘The people in Brussels are gearing up for a European Railway System, but there are too many national regulations and limitations. We have to see how we can improve these processes and speed them up’.

Ingrid Vermeer stated that there are lots of project and research studies going on to improve cross-border mobility. ‘However, [policy of] the national government mostly stops at the border: they have a responsibility until the border. They often choose for another part of the country than the border town. If we look at the EU, we need more investments in infrastructure’.

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Three workshops

The Berenschot partner event was dedicated to the EU ambition of a sustainable and zero pollution cross-border mobility sector. In three workshops we zoomed in on three sustainable building blocks of cross-border mobility: air-rail substitution, hyperloop solutions and the future of multimodal hubs.

The participants of the workshop on how to speed up air-rail substitution, were guided by Reinout Wissenburg, Manager strategic sustainability at ProRail, and Fransje Oudshoorn, Consultant transport and mobility at Berenschot. Together they reached the conclusion that it is up to rail operators and airlines together to develop the air-rail solutions that customers are looking for. ‘Governments, especially the European Union, should facilitate this development by setting the rules and standards.’

Mars Geuze, co-founder Hardt Hyperloop, and Niek Overgaauw, Consultant transport and mobility at Berenschot, guided the Hyperloop workshop and looked into the question of where a hyperloop route should be implemented in Europe. Participants and workshop hosts decided on a route from the Randstad area in the Netherlands to the east: to Berlin, or even further, where there is a lack of high-speed rail connections. The workshop participants then delved into which stakeholders need to be involved in these projects and explored several delivery strategies. Martin Fröhlich expects the hyperloop to come to Europe in the next 15-20 years, starting with cargo transport first.

The workshop on the future of multimodal hubs was hosted by Ingrid Vermeer and Kaj Mook, Senior managing consultant transport and mobility at Berenschot. The focus was on the Venlo trimodal node in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands. One of the main outcomes of the session was that although hubs like Venlo came to fruition thanks to their positions close to borders between the EU-member states, those boundaries must be removed if we are to take the next steps towards sustainable freight and passenger transport at an EU level. In line with Wim van de Camp’s comment, this requires thinking from a European perspective. The EU itself plays a pivotal role in stimulating this mindset

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