Several projects benefitted from EU funding following the EU’s 2021 call. IRU has repeatedly called for the funding and welcomes the availability of these important resources. We have to note, however, that despite encouraging progress, the absorption of the 2021 funds was not ideal. As the situation continues to be critical and there remains a significant shortfall of parking spaces across Europe, new solutions are needed to attract successful projects.
To make an efficient use of the CEF funding, the EU should consider a broader scope for the eligible projects, such as the extension of the funding for SSTPAs located on the comprehensive network of the Trans-European Transport Network, in future calls for proposals. Currently, numerous potential projects located on the comprehensive network are left outside the scope.
Furthermore, a revision of the private co-funding requirements should be considered. Depending on the location of the parking areas, the amount of private co-funding required can reach up to 80%. This makes the application less attractive for many players.
The need to improve the eligibility criteria is doubled by the necessity to map the locations across Europe that are in dire need of SSTPAs to ensure that EU funding is allocated in a targeted and strategic manner. Since the conclusion of the EU-funded study on EU Parking Standard in 2018, there have not been any updates on the parking capacity and demand. According to the 2018 study, there were 300,000 truck parking spaces available in the EU, with a significant shortfall of 100,000 spaces to meet total demand. Only 7,000 spots, or less than 3% of existing parking places in the EU, are in certified safe and secure areas.
IRU will continue to work closely together with all stakeholders to support EU truck parking standards and promote the creation of new and upgraded SSTPAs across Europe.