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Co-Operation of Networks for the Creation of Effective Policies for Transportation (CONCEPT)
Start date: Mar 31, 2004, End date: Dec 30, 2006 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The European Commission’s Transport White Paper identified a number of issues that need to be addressed for the sustainability and competitiveness of Europe’s transportation system. Principal among these is the need to "place users at the heart of transport policy" and "shifting the balance between modes of transport", from road-based transport to rail, sea and inland waterways. The overall objective of this project is to create more effective regional transportation policies and strategies to aid regional development. By encouraging and facilitating the transfer of good practice in sustainable transport, and its consequent adoption by partner regions, CONCEPT also aims to help the European Commission meet the targets mentioned above. Achievements: Achievements so far The core of the CONCEPT project is the construction of a Good Transportation Practice database, which is a compilation of current initiatives tested after a process of evaluation as to their applicability and sustainability. A total of 40 good practice examples have been identified, which exceeds the project target. The CONCEPT project started on 1 April 2004 and has held six Partnership Conferences, one more than originally foreseen. The first was held in Livorno, Italy in May 2005 and presented SWOT analyses to form the basis of the project foci. The lead partner and the project secretariat presented project and financial management guidelines. The 2nd Partnership Conference took place in Umea, Sweden in September on the theme ‘Competitiveness in Peripheral Areas’. The conference theme was addressed in workshops, following presentations of regional good practice. In June 2005, a 3rd partnership conference was held in Innsbruck, which considered the Planning and Appraisal of Major Projects. The 4th Conference in Kristiansand, Norway in November 2005 addressed the twin themes of Public Transportation and Road Safety. The fifth conference in Sicily, February 2006, covered air and maritime issues and in June 2006 the final conference in Aberdeenshire, Scotland looked at transportation strategy. Two Working Groups looking at specific issues in greater depth have taken place, the first being in Innsbruck, Austria in July where partner discussions were held on areas of commonality within transportation strategy, followed by a Study Tour on public transport in the mountainous regions. The second in Aberdeenshire Scotland, in January 2005 examined freight issues in both workshop and study tour formats. Cluster groups, assembled in each region, looking at local regional transport policy, strengths and weaknesses and specific themes of regional interest including interregional presentations based on good practice exchange between regions. Interregional exchange was further developed through a study tour programme Details of all good practice, regional and interregional events are loaded onto the project website Some 56 published articles and 12 TV/Radio appearances have given the project a positive profile throughout the partner areas as have the presentations made to other political and transport focus groups At the final presentation to European and National officials the project team were commended for the quality of the project output and the professionalism of the project operation and presentation.
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