10% more motorcycles used for commuting equal to 40% less traffic jams, concludes a study conducted by Transport & Mobility Leuven
BRUSSELS, 26.9.2011. If 10% of car drivers would give up their car for a motorcycle or a scooter, traffic congestion would be reduced by 40%, according to a study performed in one of Belgium’s most congested routes, typical of Europe's densest urban areas.
As the European Commission is seeking to promote a new culture of mobility aiming at reducing emissions and improving quality of life, part of the solution could come from Powered Two-Wheelers. While the recently published White Paper on Transport struggles to strike a balance between individual needs for mobility and the ambitious targets making transport more efficient, the study finds out that if 25% of all commuting trips were made on a PTW, congestion would be even a bad memory.
The study performed by Transport & Mobility Leuven and the University of Leuven, shows that the inclusion of motorized two-wheelers is definitely the most realistic, feasible and affordable answer to effectively address the problem of congestion and its negative effects on the daily lives of European commuters. Motorcycles and scooters represent a strong untapped potential to improve mobility, promising to deliver results that other options - such as cycling or public transport – most of the time are unable to match.
The investigation commissioned by FEBIAC, the Belgian car, motorcycle and bicycle distributors' association focuses on a case study, conducted on the section Leuven-Brussels on the E40 highway during rush hour, based on the traffic statistics of a regular work day during the month of May 2011. The results showed that "if on this trip and during this peak period, 10% of drivers swap their car against a motorcycle or scooter, this has obvious consequences on the extent of the traffic jam."
By extrapolating these observations to the entire road network, the study makes indicative conclusions: "15,000 hours lost in traffic per day could be avoided in Belgium, equivalent to a total time savings of approximately 350,000 € per day."
Shorter traffic jams that are reabsorbed faster have an environmental advantage too. However, no matter how important the benefits of this modal shift, road safety must be kept in mind. Appropriate motorcycle rider training and a safe behaviour adopted by all road users is a priority to reduce risk. The increased number of motorized two-wheelers on the roads has generated increased attention on the part of motorists accustomed to seeing more bikers, thus being more aware of their presence. This can only promote a greater mutual respect and understanding on the road.
Jacques Compagne, ACEM Secretary General: “The European Mobility Week was a good opportunity to look at solutions for our congestion problems. FEBIAC’s study demonstrates that Powered Two Wheelers are an extraordinary resource for easing jams, making traffic more fluid and generally improving the quality of life in our cities. Policy makers can learn a good deal from this paper.”
The full results of the study are available upon request.
ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, is the professional body representing the interests and combined skills of 13 powered two wheelers (PTWs) manufacturers producing more than 30 brands, and 15 national associations out of 13 European countries, guaranteeing jobs to over 150.000 people. The aggregated turnover of the PTW sector (manufacturing, plus upstream and downstream activities) amounted to Euro 34 billion in 2006. Manufacturers alone account for Euro 7 billion. The members of ACEM account for 90% of the production and up to 80% of the European powered two-wheeler market. ACEM also represents main manufacturers of tricycles and quadricycles. More information at www.acem.eu
FEBIAC is the Belgian Automobile and Cycle association. For more than a century FEBIAC has been representing manufacturers and importers of road transport modes (cars, trucks, motorcycle, bicycle) and their suppliers in Belgium, at national, European and international levels. www.febiac.be
The full study in English can be downloaded [here]
ACEM wishes to thank FEBIAC for making this study available