Options for reducing external costs from freight transport along the Brenner corridor
Irranca Galati O
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The Brenner is the most heavily travelled transalpine corridor in terms of freight transport. The current modal split tends heavily towards road (71% road – 29% rail), with significant repercussions in terms of environmental and social impacts. Indeed, Alpine areas generate external costs that are up to four times higher than flat areas. The promotion of railway, which is the least impacting transport mode, has thus a strategic value. For this reason, the European Union, the Alpine macro-region and the Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino Euroregion are promoting multi-level strategies to reduce the impact generated by freight transport along the Brenner corridor. This paper analyses each level, focussing then on the Euroregion. Its ambitious objective is to achieve a balance between transport modes in the Alpine corridor by 2027, and then to invert them (29% road – 71% rail) by 2035. This paper aims to calculate the savings of external costs deriving from the achievement of this objective. If the aggregated data from 2015 to 2035 are considered and the Euroregion scenario is compared with a prosecution of the current trend, the saving in external costs would amount to €262 M (− 26% than the current trend). This value is not negligible; being equal to 4.7% of the annual public expenditure incurred by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, it suggests to policy makers the importance of taking up measures to encourage the modal shift.