Traffic congestion and pollution due to increased transport flows and the use of private-motorised vehicles is becoming a serious concern in many tourist areas, particularly during peak season. This is particularly true for locations along the Mediterranean coast in summer. Some regions – such as the small islands located in the Aegean – experience high flows of incoming tourists, annually. Local villages and settlements are usually unprepared to effectively manage the needs of tourists and local residents, especially their mobility needs.
Therefore, the first SIMP (Sustainable Island Mobility Plan) in Europe will be implemented on the Greek island of Sifnos, followed by Naxos, small Cyclades and Kea. A SIMP is envisaged to be the island equivalent to a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), with the only difference that it focuses on an island and not on a particular city/urban area. The strategic goal of a SIMP would be the integrated confrontation of the special problems and challenges that an island faces and the provision of sustainable mobility solutions on transport and land-use planning, mobility management, pricing policy and logistics.
The objective is to promote “holidays with less or no car, thus reducing traffic congestion and safety" said Mr. Anagnostopoulos (coordinator of the Network for Sustainable Mobility CIVINET CY-EL).
Several innovations and measures are on the table such as the provision of better organisation and information of available parking areas (with sensors and via mobile phone), the introduction of electric vehicles to improve air quality and car sharing to reduce the number of circulating vehicles.
Researchers also suggest to upgrade public transport facilities and make services more frequent and reliable with cleaner, smaller and more flexible vehicles.
Moreover, they suggest the use of the bicycle and walking, width reconstructions, highlighting routes, creating bike lanes, public bike systems, bike transportation on the bus and taxi, facilitating the movement of disabled. In addition, freight transport requires the introduction of cleaner and more flexible vehicles, as well as the introduction of catering rules for shops, with specific timetables and spaces.
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Source: Story first published in August by CNN Greece