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DECEMBER 2010
Dear Friends of the International Transport Forum,
International Transport Forum: our best wishes 2011The year 2010 has been a puzzling one in transport. The dramatic downturns in transport volumes in 2008 and 2009 have indeed been turned around. Aviation seems to have weathered the storm better than other modes, showing its resilience and the strong underlying global growth in this mode. Volumes have recovered also in other modes, and many were taken by surprise by the speed of the upturn. Yet they remain below pre-crisis levels and operators complain about weak yields.   

But from a broader economic point of view it is worrying how the recovery in transport is tapering off in some markets and modes. The International Transport Forum’s latest Statistics Brief shows this clearly. Because transport is a leading economic indicator, this may have negative consequences for the wider economy. So the recovery is at best weak and uncertain.
 
From a public policy perspective, the extremely difficult situation on public spending will lead to falling investment in transport in many countries. Nothing entirely new, some might say, but this time even essential maintenance spending is threatened. This is a threat to the system and all arguments in favour of sensible transport spending, including better use of Cost Benefit Analyses, must be mustered to justify needed expenditures.
 
Innovation and Green Growth are two ways that governments hope to harness the present crisis. The outputs from the 2010 International Transport Forum in Leipzig on innovation provide many lessons on the public policy aspects of encouraging innovation. Green Growth, too, provides opportunities - but also risks that uneconomic expenditures are supported merely because they carry a green label.
 
Next year, the 2011 International Transport Forum will bring discussion closer to users. The theme for our 2011 summit, Transport for Society, will treat aspects of mobility not often on the agenda of international events: users rights, transport as an enabler for communities, how to better build skills the transport sector needs - to mention but a few. An exciting programme is being drawn up for Leipzig, so please block the dates 25-27 May 2011 in your calendars.

Transport is central to economies and people’s lives. Its importance is not declining, it’s growing globally. As an enabler, as a business and as a policy sector the need for good practice and better international cooperation is greater than ever. The International Transport Forum will continue to work with all the actors to meet this essential aim. I wish all our readers a pleasant and relaxing break and a successful and healthy 2011.
 
Jack Short
Secretary General
 
Cancún Agreements: Lessons for Transport
The Cancún Agreements decided at COP 16 in Mexico on 11 December, may give new impetus to a stalled UN negotiating process. But they will have no direct impact on continued global growth of transport CO2 emissions, according to a first analysis by the International Transport Forum. With an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, political pressure on the transport sector to reduce emissions is unlikely to increase over the next few years - in some cases it may even wane. An international framework to facilitate setting a carbon price thus seems further away than it did before Copenhagen and Cancún. The postponement of emission trading schemes in the USA and Australia signifies a move away from creating an international framework for pricing carbon.

For transport, Cancún holds two lessons, says Jack Short, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum: “The first lesson is that countries should re-center their efforts on carbon reduction policies that have value for society beyond CO2 mitigation alone. This means focusing on policies that deliver strong co-benefits such as congestion reduction, enhanced energy security, pollutant reduction and fuel cost savings. The second lesson is that prospects for significantly reducing emissions and avoiding disruptive climate change have not improved - transport must, therefore, now ready itself to adapt itself to a changing climate.”
 
Drugs and Driving: New International Study
Drugs and Driving: New International Study A new report on drug use among drivers published by the International Transport Forum points to a policy issue of growing urgency that has long been overshadowed by that of drunk driving. The report, Drugs and Driving: Detection and Deterrence, by Douglas J. Beirness compiles the results of all major studies on the use of legal and illicit drugs by motorists, as well as those of a survey carried out in 16 countries. Its conclusions are alarming: In some countries, the prevalence of drugs in crashes rivals or exceeds that of alcohol. However, applying a common standard - such as blood alcohol concentration - as a basis for anti-drug policies is difficult, as a wide variety of substances are involved and some of them are legal. A policy of “zero tolerance” can target illegal drugs, but not legal medication.
Green Growth: A View from the Transport Sector
Green Growth requires identifying cleaner sources of growth, but also establishing proper incentive structures for fostering new Green industries - while minimizing undesirable social costs. Technological options and their potential to contribute to Green Growth, as well as perspectives on the role of transport related government and industries were explored from a broad perspective at a seminar on “Green Growth in Transport” in Paris, jointly organised by the International Transport Forum and the Korean Transport Institute (KOTI) based in Seoul. You can download presentations and papers here .
 
Round Table: Improving Cost-Benefit Analysis in Transport
How can Cost-Benefit Analysis help policy-makers decide which transport infrastructure investments merit public support? Cost-Benefit Analysis excels at pointing out the value for money that different projects provide, and it contributes greatly to transparency and rigour in the decision-making process. Yet there are concerns in some countries that the approach is increasingly out of sync with broad strategic policy goals, including, for example economic growth does not account adequately for carbon footprints.

Leading experts from Europe, the United States and Mexico met to investigate these issues at a Round Table organised by the International Transport Forum together with the Instituto Mexicano del Transporte in Querétaro, Mexico, on 21-22 October.
 
The view that emerged clearly from the debate was that Cost-Benefit Analysis can expand its scope and communicate results in more accessible forms. Yet the method’s rigour is a key strength that should not be diluted in an attempt to respond to evolving political priorities. Instead, the broad principles underlying Cost-Benefit Analysis could usefully be deployed in the appraisal of strategic policy choices, so helping to increase transparency and rigour in high-level policy debates.
 
The papers from the Round Table can be downloaded here.
 
The “Forgotten Mode”: Making Walking Count
Walk21 ConferenceWalking is the most natural form of transport. It is efficient, healthy and versatile - yet transport policy makers do usually not give it much thought. Drawing attention to walking as the “forgotten mode” was the aim of the annual Walk21 conference, held on 17-19 November in The Hague, Netherlands. Billed as “Getting Communities back on their feet” and co-organised by the International Transport Forum, the conference brought together interest groups, researchers and local government representatives in an effort to promote and coordinate public recognition of the use of walking as an important, healthy and sustainable form of mobility. One of the main projects of walking advocates is to find standards for measuring walking – a simple but surprisingly underdeveloped means of “making walking count” by providing policy-makers with hard facts on pedestrians’ habits and needs.
 
Stakeholders Consultation: Our Partners Have Their Say
Developing the theme Transport for Society for the upcoming 2011 summit in Leipzig in May and linking the debate there to the very practical issues that transport users and providers face – that was the purpose of the International Transport Forum's annual Stakeholder Consultation that took place on 1 December in Paris. It turned out to be a dynamic and productive discussion between representatives from over 25 stakeholders varying from pedestrian organisations and groups focussing on disabled people via industry and labour representatives to the European Commission and the World Health Organisation. The debate underscored the importance of placing the end users with their very different profiles - at the heart of transport policy. Quality of service and real-time information about the transport system and services were also hot topics for discussion. The ideas gathered through the consultation process will be captured in an analytical report to be published on the International Transport Forum website in the coming year. For more information about the International Transport Forum’s Stakeholder Consultation please contact Rachael Mitchell ( or Colin Stacey ( ).
 
International Transport Forum 2011: Gearing Up for the Next Summit
International Transport Forum 2010: Family photoPreparations are well under way for International Transport Forum’s annual summit which will take place under the Presidency of Spain on 25 to 27 May 2011 in Leipzig, Germany. Now moving into its fourth year, the event has clearly established itself as a fixture on the agenda of senior transport policy-makers from around the globe, attracting over 800 participants – among them Ministers from the 52 member countries of the International Transport Forum and beyond, as well as decision-makers and opinion-leaders from government, civil society, academia and of course the media.

Sponsorship: Raise your visibility  
Once more, the annual summit will offer a unique opportunity for a limited number of sponsors and exhibitors to engage this high-level audience. If your company or organisation would like to profit from this opportunity and have high visibility at the 2011 International Transport Forum, please contact Colin Stacey or +33 1 45 24 14 77) for details of the different packages available to sponsors and exhibitors.

Poster Exhibition: Highlight your projects!  
A poster exhibition will provide an opportunity to present interesting recent projects and initiatives related to the event’s theme “Transport for Society” at the 2011 International Transport Forum. For this new format, contributors will also be invited to present their posters in a series of brief one-minute pitches. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to highlight your project and network with transport experts from around the globe. For details consult the poster exhibit brochure or contact Michel Violland ( or + 33 1 45 24 87 13). The deadline for submissions is 11 March 2011.
 
TRID Database: A New International Transport Resource
The International Transport Forum (ITF) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will officially sign a letter of agreement at the TRB Annual Meeting on 23-27 January 2011 announcing a new product called TRID. TRID is a newly integrated database that combines the records from TRB's Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) database and the ITF’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) database. TRID will offer one database to locate transport research from around the world, more than 800 000 records available in English, French, German or Spanish, the Transportation Research Thesaurus (TRT) as well as the multilingual International Transportation Research Documentation Thesaurus, and free access to the public. TRID will be available on the TRB web site early next year.
 
What’s Going On
Statistics Brief: Latest quarterly transport statistics published by the International Transport Forum suggest that the recovery in global freight is weak and uncertain. The Brief can be downloaded here.

CO2 Emissions: New country-by-country data for transport CO2 emissions was published by the International Transport Forum to coincide with the COP16 summit on climate change in Cancún, Mexico. The tables in PDF and Excel format are available here.
 
Infrastructure investment: At a conference organised by French business paper Les Echos on 19 December in Paris on “Transport Infrastructure: Financing, Environment, Innovation”, Secretary General Jack Short delivered remarks on international trends in transport infrastructure financing. His presentation can be downloaded here.
 
Recent Publications
IRTAD 2010 Annual Report IRTAD 2010 Annual Report
This report provides an overview of safety trends for the year 2009 as well as preliminary trends for the year 2010 in IRTAD countries. It focuses on country performance and road safety measures implemented over the past five years to reduce the number of traffic casualties. Download here
Safety and Regulatory Reform of RailwaysSafety and Regulatory Reform of Railways
Many countries have envisaged or implemented pro-competitive regulatory reforms of their rail sectors. This report addresses concerns which have been voiced regarding the impact of these reforms on rail safety performance. Download here 
Implementing Congestion Charges: Round Table 147Implementing Congestion Charges
Recent advances in the scientific understanding of urban traffic congestion have only strengthened the already solid case for congestion charges as an element of a successful urban transport policy. This report draws lessons from attempts to introduce congestion charges. Download Summary and Conclusions here  
Illustrated Glossary for Transport Statistics 4th EditionIllustrated Glossary for Transport Statistics 4th Edition
A collection of transport statistics developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the International Transport Forum and Eurostat. This edition includes seven transport themes (rail, road, inland waterway, pipelines, maritime, aviation and intermodal transport) and comprises 735 definitions. Download here 
 
 
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