Why has the EC given €70m to promote inland waterway transport?

The EC website explains that inland waterway transport plays an important role for the transport of goods in Europe. More than 37 000 kilometres of waterways connect hundreds of cities and industrial regions in 20 member states.

The European Commission aims to promote and strengthen the position of the inland waterway transport in the transport system, and to facilitate door to door freight transport logistics chains that offer viable, frequent, high quality and reliable links with ‘short sea shipping’. It has included canals and other inland waterways in a €70m funding programme for shipping projects that help to take lorries off the road.

Compared with other forms of transport which often face congestion and capacity problems, inland waterway transport is reliable and has a low environmental impact as the flyer above indicates, offering:

  • an environmentally friendly alternative in terms of energy consumption – per km/ton of transported goods approximately 17% of road transport and 50% of rail transport,
  • modest noise and gas emissions,
  • a high degree of safety, in particular when it comes to the transportation of dangerous goods,
  • and a contribution to the decongestion of the overloaded road network in densely populated regions.

According to recent studies, the total external costs of inland navigation (in terms of accidents, congestion, noise emissions, air pollution and other environmental impacts) are seven times lower than those of road transport.

The flyer pictured, and other information came from the CBOA website .




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