East-West Transnational Transport Corridor in the .. (EAST-WEST)
East-West Transnational Transport Corridor in the S-BSR
Start date: Dec 31, 2005,
End date: Dec 30, 2007
In the Baltic Sea Region, trade and traffic in the east-west direction is increasing dramatically. The need to develop sustainable transport in the east-west direction is therefore of outmost importance. The “East-West transport Corridor (EWTC)” between Vilnius and Esbjerg via the Öresund region, includes several TEN-T ports, road and railways links, parts of the Nordic triangle and Corridor IX B/D in Lithuania /Kaliningrad. The EWTC has a strong and growing market position, but is hampered by bottlenecks and lack of intermodal transport concepts.The Northern Transport Axis is one of the five Trans-European transport Axes defined by EU “High Level Group” in 2005. The Axis is the main trade and transport connection between Russia and EU countries. The fully operational EWTC, with the links Klaipeda-Vilnius-Moscow/Minsk and Kaliningrad-Vilnius, and the fast growing traffic makes the EWTC to one of the most important corridors of the Northern axis initiative. In addition, the EWTC is already now playing an important role to connect Europe with the emerging markets in Far East, China, Kazakhstan and the countries around the Black Sea.The project “East-West Transport Corridor” aims to strengthen the corridor through a wide range of activities dealing e.g. with development of an overall strategy for the corridor, infrastructure improvements, new solutions for business and logistics and strengthened transport research and co-operation between researchers as well the deployment ITS as a tool for innovative actions. Specific tasks are divided into five work packages:WP1 Transnational Transport CorridorDevelopment StrategyWP2 ITS a Tool for Innovative Actions in the CorridorWP3 Improvements of Infrastructure. BottlenecksWP4 Development of business and logisticsWP5 Knowledge developmentOne of the aims has been to establish a framework for co-operation between different kinds of actors. Therefore, the partnership consists of organizations from both public and private sectors. IKEA, Karlshamns AB, Railog, Smelte and LISCO are some of the enterprises involved. Ports and universities are other important partners as well as local, regional and national authorities.The origin of EWTC stems from increased cross border traffic in the corridor and from different EU-financed projects like i.e. the Baltic Gateway. Traffic forecasts and conclusions from different projects in combination with a strong political support, announced the need for a transport corridor in the area. EWTC aims to strengthen the transport development through infrastructure improvements, new solutions for business, logistics and co-operation between researchers. Achievements: The main result of the EWTC project is a) a strong EWTC network b) a strong support for the corridor from different authorities and others c) a report that presents a vision, a strategy and a short-term action plan for the EWTC project.A Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) has been carried out in the project to describe environmental impact in the corridor. The main conclusion of the SEA is that with increased road transport the negative impact on environment will increase. However, an implementation of the EWTC strategy aims to decrease this negative impact.The aim has been to develop the East-West Transport Corridor as an efficient transport corridor with close co-operation between interlinked hubs, meeting market demands for growing freight transport to and from Scandinavia and Lithuania in a more environmentally-friendly way.The strategy is based on the results of the EWTC project and has been discussed in public hearings in Vilnius and Karlshamn and received broad political support. There is now a commitment to further support to the development of the East West Transport Corridor. This document sets out the long-term goals for this development and outlines the next steps to be taken in a short-term action plan.At the Final Conference in Vilnius December 2007 the Vision, Strategy and Action Plan were approved as well as a joint statement from the Steering Committee of the EWTC. One of the recommendations in the documents is to develop the EWTC as a Green Corridor in the European context.
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