Sustainable Transportation

Sustainable transport may be defined as transport that will enable conditions for carrying people and cargo in a manner that is functional, safe and economical, while it at the same avoids depletion of non-renewable energy sources, and reduces the environmental load caused by emissions and noise to the levels no longer hazardous to human health, natural ecosystems and the Earth’s climate.

Sustainable transport has been looking for optional ways of conveying people, goods and information in a manner that will reduce its adverse impacts on the environment, economy and society. Furthermore, sustainable transport has been working on the ‘user and polluter pays’ principle, meaning that the user bears the complete cost both in relation to development and operation of the transport infrastructure, as well as in terms of compensation for any environmental damage it may cause.

The above goals may be achieved through introduction of environmentally friendly engine-driven means of transportation that rely on alternative drive technologies and alternative fuels, while any vehicles excessively damaging the environment are at the same time strongly disadvantaged (discarded).

Meeting the set objectives cannot do without increased attractiveness of public transport, through measures addressing both vehicle comfort and an interlinked pattern of all public transport means in terms of tariffs, time and space. For the ends of improved attractiveness of rail transport, reduced times of people and cargo conveyance to the road transport levels are required. That can be implemented through use of integrated transportation systems, building of logistic centres and, potentially, through development of new rail tracks.

Appropriate planning for the new and renovations of current transport infrastructure are required in order to reduce the traffic-caused environmental load. An utmost conscious approach to blending new structures sensitively with the environment, including also discussions with the public, is required. This is supported by the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, preceded by the town and country planning process during which also strategic environmental assessment (SEA) takes place.