Sustainability as an unambiguous policy goal is not a priori secured, as is clearly shown in the transport sector, where the negative externalities are still increasing despite official policies aiming at a reduction of these external costs and at the achievement of a sustainable transport system. To analyse why this is the case, a conceptual model is developed in this paper, in which stakeholders are identified which influence sustainable transport policies. These stakeholders are individuals, the public sector (subdivided into politicians and civil servants), international organizations and pressure groups (car industry, oil industry, car users and environmental groups). It appears that - although it may be assumed that nobody desires an unsustainable future - most incentives and mechanisms in our conceptual model of the decision-making process hamper the achievement of a sustainable transport system. In the second part - by way of empirical test - results of a questionnaire among Dutch transportation experts on the expected and desired future of European passenger transport are concisely discussed, in which the year 2030 is taken as a reference year. It appears that in the expected future the stakeholders largely behave as predicted in the conceptual model. In
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