“Urban freight transport”. Three words encoding a critical reality for modern cities. These three words are currently a threefold stake both for the central government and the local and regional authorities, namely an ecological, economic and road safety stake. It is exactly the challenge we have to win in Attica, not only for the citizens and businesses but also for the national economy. Such a challenge is particularly timely today that our country is turning a new page in its history.
Urban freight transport, through the daily commuting of lorries distributing goods to cities and all it implies, namely the levels of environmental pollution (e.g. greenhouse gas), noise, traffic problems, parking problems, waste of resources, motor vehicle accidents, requires the design of a new sustainable and environmentally friendly model. In the case of Attica, this reorganisation ought to have been made a long time ago. Today, the number of heavy goods vehicles has been constantly growing on roads and in cities, thereby generating structural and chronic problems and revealing long-standing malaise that needs to be addressed. To this end, there must be a genuine rethink of freight transport policy to enhance competitiveness and economic growth, by using alternative energy sources and ensuring road safety.
On that basis, the Region of Attica seeks to design a new, sustainable urban freight transport strategy to meet its economic, environmental and social needs. An appropriate choice due to Attica’s “special” characteristics — a region consisting of 66 municipalities, bringing together almost half the country’s population and accounting for around 35 % of the GDP. Indeed, these characteristics make Attica the “locomotive” of our national economy, in terms of a new model of sustainable and equitable growth that ought to be environmentally friendly as well.
In this context, the new operational programme called “Log-Attica” which aims to remedy the existing situation towards a new, viable and sustainable economy, without any waste of resources and with emphasis on clean technologies and alternative energy sources.
To this end, we have opted for synergies with all relevant stakeholders, organisations and ministries, led primarily by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
The participation of all parties involved in the “Log-Attica” programme is expected to significantly help to achieve this aim, by balancing all expected and perfectly conflicting interests. Support of the programme by the relevant ministries is expected to solve the institutional problems and speed up the implementation of the programme.
In this way, the Region of Attica attempts to solve a wide range of infrastructure problems related to the uncontrolled circulation of lorries, the ageing fleet of trucks, the lack of loading and unloading areas, etc., in combination with a number of structural problems such as urban sprawl, weaknesses in the transport network and poor organisation of the overall transport system.
Thereupon, the Region of Attica faces a critical challenge: the efficient and reliable distributions, that are increasing in volume terms, forming a driver for the economic growth of cities of Attica and influencing (due to the number of lorries) the environment and the quality of life, will contribute to the new growth pattern.
It is a collective effort for the cities of Attica to offer modern, operational, environmentally friendly, reliable services, to become technologically innovative, business competitive, road safe, and socially cohesive. The programme “Log-Attica” is today the first step in this direction.