The study examines the key challenges and trends concerning the provision of transport policies and infrastructure in low-density and depopulating areas.
One of the main findings is that new mobility solutions represent a unique opportunity for the target areas, but their implementation is still very limited. The main obstacles are the overall lack of the needed infrastructures, not only in terms of transport but also broadband, the distances and the scale of the economy.
Overall, the study provides a comprehensive assessment of relevant transport policies and projects implemented in these areas, including a series of case studies in five European countries, and putting forward policy recommendations to overcome the identified challenges and gaps.
The SHERPA Position Paper reflected on how the level of service provision makes a critical contribution to socio-economic sustainability, especially in rural areas. Evidence shows that a decline in public transport services can trigger innovation.
In addition, in the report of the SHERPA Annual Conference, it was highlighted that the costs of delivering services of general interest (e.g., health, education, transport, etc.) are higher in rural areas. These services should be of comparable quality to those in urban areas as this is a question of maintaining equitable living standards for all citizens and across all territories.
*TRAN is the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament