"TRANSvisions": Report on Transport Scenarios with a 20- and 40- Year Horizon

Szenarien regionaler Verkehrsströme in Europa in den nächsten 20 bzw. 40 Jahren

Time schedule:
January 2008 - May 2009   

DG TREN - Directorate General for Energy and Transport (European Commission)

Final Report
Final Report (Executive Summary)

Project consortium:

Main Partners:

Tetraplan AS, Copenhagen, Denmark
Institute for System Integrating Studies, Italy (ISIS)
MCRIT, Spain
Institute for Transport Studies, Leeds University, UK
Institute for Regional Research, University of Kiel, Germany
BMT – Transport Solutions, Hamburg, Germany
Centre for Traffic & Transport, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Consortium leader: Tetraplan AS, Copenhagen, Denmark

General project objectives

The study will illustrate the scope of future development for the EU27, candidate and neighbouring countries, focusing on the impacts for potential EU enlargement, world trade and globalisation on the future transport demand. Based on a number of scenarios, the study will suggest long-term objectives for the European transport policies, to meet existing Commission policy statements as well as the Community “acquis”. The scenarios will be developed so they outline the scope of different future paths in 2010, 2012, 2020, 2030 and 2050. 


Main research fields

To quantify potential and possible future transport developments and to outline long-term policy objectives a number of scenarios building on well established main drivers need to be developed. 

The consortium will use the TRANS-TOOLS model as the transport model in the study. The newly updated TRANS-TOOLS is the most comprehensive and up to date model cov­ering the area of the EU in great detail and can provide forecasts for all modes and a detail that enables detailed case studies to be carried out.  

The TRANS-TOOLS model is currently being updated and refined by the consortium. In the new version it will have a much better coverage of the EU25 candi­date and neighbouring countries. Furthermore TRANS-TOOLS will be updated by a further development of the CG Europe model. Also a new passenger demand model will add to the accuracy of the improved TRANS-TOOLS model. Lastly the updated TRANS-TOOLS model addresses the internalisation of external costs, thus giving a more accurate picture of the scope for policy changes.


Task 1 Qualitative analysis 

Task 1 will provide the scenarios that will form the basis for the policy recommendations of the project. Task 1 will also provide an overview of the most relevant existing statistical and informa­tional gaps that will influence the predictions of the future, an clarify the assumptions that will have to be made to compensate for these gaps of two scenarios, a) an optimistic scenario, resulting from the combination of the positive impacts with the higher predictabil­ity; b) a pessimistic scenario in which the negative impacts of the most important drivers will take the main role. Depending on the results, an intermediate scenario could also be defined in order to complete the picture.

Also a number of scenarios will be defined: 

  •   Business as usual  
  •   Policy packages needed to fulfil the Union’s climate change targets for 2020 and 2050 (back-casting) 
  •   Two possible scenarios 
  •   A number of extreme scenarios to outline the scope of transport development 
  •   and at least include a priority to competitiveness and a priority to environmental 
  •   protec­tion scenarios.   


Task 2 Quantitative analysis 

The main outcome of Task 1 is the results on transport demand just to check the consistency of each scenario. To validate the consistency of the qualitative scenarios, and to translate the scenarios into qualitative ones that can be run on the TRANS-TOOLS model.


Task 3 Policy synthesis  

The main outcome of the policy synthesis will be a number of policy recommendations for the European Transport Policy based on the challenges and implications of the possible future transport demand developments. Task 3 will be focused on “translating” the results of the runs of the scenarios into policy recommendations by identifying options that the policy-makers should consider. Added to this analysis will be a number of “unexpected” potential future world devel­opments that could have a severe impact on transport policy, like natural disasters, terror­ism, worldwide recession or the invention of any currently unforeseen technology. All are developments that could drastically change the desire to travel or influence purchasing behaviour. Based on the analysis a number of long-term objectives for the European Transport Policy will be identified. Special focus will be put on trade patterns due to the enlargement of the union and on other possible future develop­ments in EU policies that could have a major effect on transport demands e.g. environ­mental or social policy.   


Task 4 Validation 

The results of the tasks will be validated through: An Internal Expert Group, an Expert Seminar and a Stakeholder Confer­ence.  


Time plan and resources

The time plan is limited by a number of milestones. The full project must be finalised within 14 months from the starting date. The time plan schedules 5 reports, 5 meetings with the Commission, and two external events: an Expert Seminar and a Stakeholder Conference.

Resources will be carried out by the consortium led by Tetraplan A/S (TP) from Denmark (see above). 


Contribution of the Institute for Regional Research (IfR), University of Kiel


Project Leader at the Institute: Prof. Dr. Johannes Bröcker

Project Staff (Research): Artem Korzhenevych (M.A.)

Institute for Regional Research (IfR) will play an important role in the identification and analysis of relevant projects and main drivers that will form the bases for task 1. In task 3 IfR will provide the policy­ impact analysis (task 3.3) summing up the policy implications of the scenarios and the case studies.