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People who do not drive [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people who do not drive.

There is roughly one car for every two people in the EU, but not all Europeans drive. For people living in densely built up areas, the convenience of a car may be outweighed by the inconvenience of finding a parking spot; the cost of buying, maintaining and running a car; or health or environmental considerations. Not driving means relying on alternative forms of getting about: walking, cycling, public transport, taxis – and for longer distances, buses, trains and aeroplanes. The EU is working to improve these services on two fronts: by encouraging investment in public transport and cross-border transport links for the movement of people, goods and services; and by fostering competition on transport routes across the continent, to secure a better deal for consumers.


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The EU supports city and cross-border transport by carrying out studies and transport policy analysis; promoting the exchange of best practice between local authorities; and helping local authorities to invest in cycle infrastructure and more walkable public spaces through the European structural investment funds. Given that national transport networks often stop at national borders, the EU also invests in bridging cross-border transport links and removing bottlenecks. The EU guarantees passenger rights when travelling in Europe by air, rail, bus and coach, or ship. Finally, the EU sets air quality standards and targets, and holds countries to account when they fail to meet those targets. For Europeans travelling on foot or by bike, cleaner air means a more pleasant, healthier journey.

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