Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission (EC) has approved extension of the aid from France and Italy for an experimental rolling motorway service. Under the system, trucks are loaded onto shuttle trains, which carry them and their drivers distances of 200 to 300 km.
The system offers a viable alternative for crossing natural obstacles, such as the Alps; reduces road congestion and environmental impact; and encourages combined transport.
The experimental motorway runs between Aiton and Orbassano, using an existing line between Lyon and Turin. The service is being operated by Autoroute Ferroviaire Alpine from 2007 to 2009.
France and Italy are allowed to grant financial support of up to €22 million each to the service over the experimental phase. Due to the experimental nature of the project, the particularly difficult conditions under which the system is being operated during the test period, and the specific features of the technology being used, financial support was deemed necessary in order to be able to continue. The Commission considered that the aid is compatible with competition rules, as it is limited to the experimental phase.