TRACC - TRansport ACCessibility at regional/local scale and patterns in Europe


Transport accessibility at regional/local scale and patterns in Europe

Thematic scope

Dynamic territorial development depends on an optimal combination of access to services and resources. Good accessibility and connectivity is one of the most crucial factors in deciding on a location for economic activities. This leads to the fact that fast, relatively cheap, reliable but also sustainable freight and passenger transport, has become one of the essential prerequisites for the competitiveness of regions and regional economic development. This is why transport infrastructure developments and transport networks connecting Europe and its particular regions play such an important role in formulating the European policies as the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion.
This project shall strive for a comprehensive and integrated research approach, taking into account social, cultural, environmental, and economic aspects. Its aim is to deliver innovative results which can support the policy development in the field of transport and accessibility improvement, territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion. It shall support policy makers in finding trade-offs between promoting accessibility for passenger and freight transport and competitiveness, sustainability, saving energy and territorial development.

Please read more about the main research areas and main results envisaged on the next page.

Lead Partner

Spiekermann & Wegener Urban and Regional Research (S&W), Germany
Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

Sounding Board

Nadine Cattan, France
Karel Schmeidler, Czech Republic

Budget: € 699 790,50

Project’s lifetime: February 2010 – October 2012

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 31 July 2010
Interim Report: 31 January 2011
Draft Final Report: 30 June 2012
Final Report: 31 October 2012


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:
Marjan VAN HERWIJNEN, e-mail: [email protected]

Main research areas 

  • The current status and characteristic patterns of regional accessibility, i.e. accessibility on a daily basis, for road, rail and air
  • The current status of potential accessibility for road, rail (including high-speed rail), air and water at European level
  • The regional similarity and mismatch between potential accessibility at European level and regional accessibility
  • The current status of potential accessibility for air and water at the global level
  • Identifying the bottlenecks for the four transport modes be identified at the regional and the European scale
  • Improving the methodology to calculate accessibility at regional and European level by including intermodal transport, i.e. combining the various ways of transport
  • Feasible and relevant ways to distinguish between the transport of people and goods for air, rail, road or waterways
  • Define the present and future role of freight transport over rail and inland waterways and compare its significance to transport over road, rail and air
  • The relation between accessibility and regional development, growth, travel costs, carbon levels and employment
  • Long term scenario’s for the transport sector in the EU and their impact on climate change, accessibility patterns and economic development

Main results envisaged

  • Data on potential accessibility and various infrastructure networks
  • Indicators on the different types of transport modes and accessibility and indicators revealing the impacts of new infrastructural networks
  • A multimodal accessibility potential typology including all four transport modes
  • Separate studies on different types of regions showing accessibility within the region, different types of accessibility patterns and the added value of including multimodal transport in the methodology to calculate accessibility
  • European maps revealing (1) the accessibility patterns of the various transport modes (road, rail, waterways and air) and types (transport of people and freight) on various scales (global, European, regional, local, the study areas), (2) the multimodal accessibility potential typology, covering the full ESPON territory, (3) the present and future role of transport over inland waterways.



Final Report - Executive Summary and Main Report

  • Acrobat Document | 11.22MB

Final Report - Scientific Report

  • Acrobat Document | 45.11MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Introduction

  • Acrobat Document | 506KB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part A West Mediterranean

  • Acrobat Document | 26.22MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part B Northern Italy

  • Acrobat Document | 11.29MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part C Bavaria

  • Acrobat Document | 6.70MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part D Czech Republic

  • Acrobat Document | 10.78MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part E Poland

  • Acrobat Document | 10.66MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part F Baltic States

  • Acrobat Document | 19.93MB

Final Report - Case Studies - Part G Finland

  • Acrobat Document | 9.69MB

Final Report - Indicator Factsheets

  • Acrobat Document | 47.23MB

Draft Final

  • Zip archive | 172.20MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 9.54MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 1.15MB

Project Specification

  • Acrobat Document | 91KB