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24 Apr 2015: 

The April edition of the TRIP Newsletter is now out and available here:


Public events for personalised travel planning in Riga (Latvia)

Public events for personalised travel planning in Riga (Latvia)

22 Apr 2015: 

Riga has many parks and gardens, is a transport hub in the Baltic and home to a large port. Cycling is increasing year by year among the 695,000 inhabitants, with the number of daily cyclists increasing from 3 per cent in 2010 to 6.4 per cent in 2012.

The European-funded project PTP-Cycle supports the goals of the Riga Public Transport Development Concept: to stimulate cycling and public transport as alternatives to the car. At the present time, a cycling strategy is being developed to encourage faster growth in cycling infrastructure.

In 2014 there were only 53km of officially marked cycle routes in the city. The target neighbourhoods of Jugla and Teika are well connected to public transport and crossed by a major cycle route from the city centre to the outskirts. The areas have a mix of private houses and apartment buildings, and several shopping areas and cultural attractions where public events regularly take place.

In action
The PTP-Cycle approach relies on a personal conversation to understand barriers to cycling or walking, before information is supplied to the individual to provide solutions to their unique situation. Therefore, Riga first conducted preparatory work to update existing marketing materials about cycling in the city, develop maps and several brochures (‘Get to know Riga on a
bike’; ‘Cycling in Traffic’) and a guide to maintenance and assistance available to cyclists. These materials provide specific, tailored solutions to problems.

The city contracted a public relations company to ensure a professional approach to advertising and contact in the target area. A local field-work team was trained based on the PTP methodology, and six consultants visited households and attended events. Consultants had particularly recognisable uniforms and personal identity cards to increase their profile and
public trust. A mobile stand for public events and even project balloons were created as part of the brand, and a cargo bike with the project logo was used for delivery of materials.

To promote PTP more widely, a well-known cycling enthusiast was invited to champion the project. Viesturs Silenieks was a key figure in the promotion of the initiative to the local community; through his weekly radio show, and to political figures through influencing activities in his role as the chairman of the Latvia Cycling Association. He also contributed to training the consultants, sharing his knowledge of the barriers that people have to cycling. His prominent role raised the project profile and gave it increased credibility.

During the first implementation phase in the spring and summer of 2014:

  • 2,034 households were visited by consultants;
  • 1,128 visitors to public events had personalised travel planning conversations;
  • 1,512 questionnaires about mobility patterns were completed;
  • 1,117 different marketing materials were distributed.

Some conclusions from phase 1 of field work:

  • Public events had a higher rate of positive responses than conversations held on the doorstep;
  • Residents were often reluctant to engage with Travel Advisers on their doorstep;
  • Selecting appropriate events is an important consideration for success, with outdoor family events more successful than sporting events.

Challenges, opportunities and transferability
This was the first time that the methodology of personalised travel planning for cyclists has been used in Riga. Direct communication with residents on their doorstep is not a common practice, and household engagement was made more difficult because of a lack of available data, due to data protection laws.

Additional time was required before commencing field work in order to plan access to apartment buildings, which meant that interviews in households required a lot of time, and sometimes multiple visits. Bad weather and reluctance from people to engage on the doorstep also contributed to the challenges.

Public events were much more successful with people more open to a conversation about their mobility habits, and more receptive to new information. Riga will continue to use public events as a core element of the project to reach a receptive audience, and their results indicate how other cities with difficulties accessing households can successfully replicate a personalised travel planning programme with positive results.

Success in Riga was aided by a prominent ‘champion’ who publically advocated the project. This meant that some people had prior knowledge of the project before being contacted, making them more receptive to behaviour change.

Riga profile webpage:

Read the latest TRIP Newsletter

Read the latest TRIP Newsletter

27 Mar 2015: 

The March edition of the TRIP Newsletter is now out and available here:


We want your views

We want your views

27 Mar 2015: 

We have launched a new online survey to better understand what you need from TRIP

Please take some time to answer our short survey that consists of multiple choice questions Your answers will helps us make TRIP a more useful resource for you, tailoring our information and website to meet your needs.


European Commissions' study on LNG as a shipping fuel shows industry's support

17 Mar 2015: 

The European Commission presented the preliminary results of a study on the perception of the risks and opportunities of LNG as a shipping fuel. The results show that stakeholders recognise the environmental advantages of LNG as a shipping fuel, but are still uncertain whether they offer a clear business case. At the meeting, held during the European Shipping Week, the European Commission discussed with LNG industry stakeholders the outcomes of the study.

"This study gives us a solid overview of the opportunities and remaining challenges for the use of LNG for shipping. More importantly: the outcome helps us to feed a public debate on LNG for shipping and provides arguments for a stakeholder debate at local level." said Sandro Santamato, Head of Unit Maritime transport & Logistics, European Commission.

The study takes into account the overall EU policy aiming at reductions of emissions from shipping and looking for alternative energy sources, in view of growing constraints on the use of heavy fuels. It also summarises recent legislation: Firstly, the Directive on sulphur content in marine fuels (2012/33/EU ) which allows the use of LNG as an alternative fuel to comply with more stringent emission standards. Secondly, the Directive on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (2014/94/EU ) which aims at ensuring minimum coverage of LNG refuelling points in main maritime and inland ports across Europe by 2025 and 2030 respectively, with common standards for their design and use.

Environmental advantages remain undisputed, despite a lack of profitability

From the study it becomes clear that on the one hand, the major motivation for stakeholders to engage in LNG as a shipping fuel is to be compliant with Emission Controlled Area (ECA) zone requirements and the related positive environmental effects. On the other hand, the most critical issues for further deployment are the financing of LNG as a fuel and the pricing of LNG itself. For many companies, and especially shipping companies, LNG does not offer a profitable business model yet: the higher equipment costs for engines and tanks are not offset by savings in fuel or operating expenses. Also, the lack of existing bunkering infrastructure for LNG is another quite important barrier.

More about the study

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), PwC and DNV-GL are conducting the analysis and evaluation of the gaps that exist in the regulatory framework for LNG-fuelled ships and the provision of LNG fuel. The research is focusing on risks and opportunities of using LNG as a shipping fuel.

Final results of the study will become available in June/July 2015.

New EU rules for safer and more eco-friendly lorries

17 Mar 2015: 

The European Parliament gave its final approval to new EU rules for safer and more eco-friendly lorries (Directive 2013/0195), put forward by the Commission. These rules will allow manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic lorries which will reduce fuel consumption by 7-10%, cut emissions of greenhouse gases, and also enhance road safety.

Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: "Today's final backing by the European Parliament is a significant achievement, which takes us one step closer to having better lorries on our roads. This will lead to fewer emissions and casualties on our roads and lower fuel costs for hauliers. It will also allow the industry to produce new lorries and to remain competitive on the global market. Today's vote will pave the way for Member States to reach a final agreement, so that society can start to reap the benefits of these new rules."

The new rules will bring a number of important benefits:

  • Better road safety: The current "brick shape" front of the cabin can increase the severity of injury to road users in a collision. It also reduces the driver's field of vision. This is particularly dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians at junctions. A more rounded shape increases the field of vision and in the event of a low-speed collision – typically in an urban environment – reduces the risk of serious injury. Up to one third of controlled vehicles are overloaded, causing damage to roads and compromising safety. On-board weighing systems linked to the digital tachograph and weigh-in-motion stations on main roads will allow for more consistent checks from country to country. The overweighting of lorries is estimated to cost €950 million per year to the taxpayer.
  • Better environmental performance:In the EU, transport relies on oil and oil products for about 96% of its energy needs[1]. Improved vehicle aerodynamics will reduce the fuel consumption of long-distance road haulage by 7–10%, makeing a significant economic and environmental contribution. For hauliers, this will allow savings of approximately €5,000 per year in fuel costs for a typical long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km. In addition, the rules allow for additional weight specifically to allow the use of heavier batteries required by alternative propulsion systems (hybrid, electric) for lorries and coaches. However, the loading capacity of lorries will not change.
  • More innovation and industrial opportunities for vehicle manufacturers: European heavy vehicle manufacturers are market leaders and the sector is one of the largest corporate investors in research and development. New aerodynamic cabins and rear flaps will be an opportunity for manufacturers to develop new models, which will support job creation and economic growth in Europe.
  • Promoting intermodal transport:Red tape will be reduced allowing 45-foot containers to be switched more easily between ship, road and rail.

Background information

The rules currently setting the specifications for lorries date back to 1996 (Directive 96/53/EC). They now need to be updated to take account of technological developments. The old rules are the reason why todays lorries are brick-shaped, which is the least aerodynamic shape and the main reason for many traffic related casualties.

Next steps: The final step is the adoption by the Council of the EU in the coming weeks. In parallel, the so-called EU vehicle type approval legislation needs to be updated, before new vehicles can be put on the market.

Aerodynamic flaps could be expected to be put on the market from 2018 and safer and environmental cabins from 2020. All other measures mentioned above (propulsion, controls and intermodal) can be implemented from 2018.

For further information

Commissioner Bulc's website

Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport:

Weights and dimensions

Current Directive 96/53/EC

Managing Europe’s Transport Research and Innovation Portal

Managing Europe’s Transport Research and Innovation Portal

4 Mar 2015: 

Ricardo-AEA has been awarded a major three-year contract to run the European Commission’s Transport Research and Innovation Portal (TRIP) – a public, online platform that shares up-to-date information on transport research projects and activities across Europe

Over the next three years, Ricardo-AEA, together with its partners TRT Trasporti e Territorio, the Czech Transport Research Centre (CDV), Fraunhofer ISI, the University of the Aegean and TEPR, will update and verify TRIP’s existing content, adding in new findings from the latest transport research programmes. The work will ensure TRIP continues in its role as Europe’s ‘one-stop shop’ for comprehensive and reliable information on a wide range of resources related to transport research.

Significant amounts of transport research is funded both at the national and EU levels. By collating this information within an easily accessible portal, TRIP provides policymakers and researchers with easy access to the findings from transport research programmes, enabling them to apply the results of research in real-world applications and helping them identify gaps in Europe’s knowledge base, and avoid duplication in future research plans.

In addition to collating results, Ricardo-AEA’s experts will conduct robust analyses and reviews of the findings included within the portal to ensure TRIP provides high quality information and data. The company will also be responsible for disseminating the latest research findings to the European transport research and policy communities through regular and engaging updates.

Ricardo-AEA practice director for sustainable transport Sujith Kollamthodi said: “TRIP plays an important role in supporting European transport research. By making the latest results easily accessible and disseminating updates to researchers and policy makers, it can support Europe’s progress towards safer, more sustainable, competitive and less congested transport.

“Our team is very much looking forward to working on this project. We are confident we can make a number of improvements to TRIP that will help make its information portal even more accessible and reach the wider research community”.

The work builds on Ricardo-AEA’s track record of delivering similar knowledge sharing and awareness raising projects such as the European Commission’s Online Resource Efficiency Portal and the United Kingdom’s Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre.


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