European cities and automobile manufacturers kick off dialogue on urban vehicle access regulations

Representatives from European cities and automobile manufacturers came together for the first time on 5 December in order to explore solutions to the challenges of increasing urban road traffic.

The main purpose of this workshop, which gathered more than 70 stakeholders involved in urban mobility, was to exchange views, experiences and different perspectives on urban vehicle access regulations (UVARs), which are becoming more widespread throughout the EU. As well as cities and auto manufacturers, representatives of regions, research organisations, transport operators, motorists, shippers and retailers were present.

Discussions focused on the local societal challenges and policy drivers behind urban vehicle access regulations. Also on the agenda was how stakeholders can co-operate on the short-term, for instance through the exchange of best practices or public-private co-operation for local policy making, as well as on the long-term, such as conducting joint research on smart and sustainable mobility technologies.

With regard to the variety of types of UVARs in place across Europe, the stakeholders agreed on the need for more consistency and transparency. Participants called on the European Commission not only to continue funding the European initiative to centralise information on which cities apply access regulations, but to provide a comprehensive analysis of these measures (what characteristics they have, which vehicles are covered by them, and so on).

The workshop paves the way for ongoing direct and constructive dialogue between all parties who have a stake in access regulation measures. It was jointly organised by Polis, the network of cities and regions on transport innovation, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) and the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC).