Long Term Accessibility and Sustainability in the Port of Rotterdam

Long Term Accessibility and Sustainability in the Port of Rotterdam


D M Vonk Noordegraaf, L A Tavasszy , TNO / Delft University of Technology, NL; J C van Meijeren, TNO, NL


This paper discusses the long term accessibility and sustainability of the port of Rotterdam. Using effect studies and a participatory stakeholder approach, the effects and feasibility of a wide range of measures (e.g. road pricing) are determined.


Port areas are more and more faced with reduced accessibility of both terminals and hinterland connections and reduced sustainability (air quality, noise levels and external safety) due to growth in port activities. Spatial planning is a complex process due to an often highly urbanized surrounding, which creates conflicts between industrial and residential functions. It is expected that the port of Rotterdam will face major growth over the longer term and therefore measures are needed enhance this long term (2020-2033) accessibility and sustainability of the Rotterdam port area. This paper discusses the results of the Transumo A15-project, in which these measures were developed.

Contrary to most traditional ex ante impact studies, this study combined impact studies with a participatory stakeholder approach. The stakeholders were actively involved in all project phases including the design of a package of measures. The results of the impact studies show that if all measures, as already planned in the environmental impact study for the port extension, are realized, there will be hardly any bottlenecks in the traffic network in the area. In particular infrastructural measures and road pricing have the largest effects on traffic. The package of measures, as developed with the stakeholders, results in a substantial reduction of traffic. Even without the infrastructural measures comparable results can be obtained by a large set of alternative measures. Furthermore, this study found that air quality will not be as challenging in the long term as it is now.

Stakeholder participation resulted in a shared sense of urgency, problem perception and support for most measures. For several measures, including road pricing, the feasibility and the magnitude of the effects was discussed with the stakeholders. This proved to be a valuable refinement of the study results. For example, the analysis of road pricing illustrated that many uncertainties are involved in the implementation of road pricing. In this case adaptive policy making was recommended to overcome the current political lock-in and promote a more proactive response.

The study furthermore showed that it is not realistic to simply assume that a measure will be implemented according to the timetable. The implementation of planned measures can be abandoned, be delayed or have disappointing impacts. Stakeholders could also raise ambitions in the future. Therefore additional measures as developed in the Transumo A15-project should be implemented. Furthermore, this participatory approach illustrated that especially the nature of the implementation process will directly affect the accessibility and sustainability development over time.


Association for European Transport