The North-western European Land Bridge
WIBERG, International transport consultant,Sweden
Traffic is expected to grow considerably in the next decades between western and eastern Europe. In order to cope with this development major infrastucture links like motorways and highspeed rail lines ~ be built in central and southeastern Europe. The no
Traffic is expected to grow considerably in the next decades between western and eastern Europe. In order to cope with this development major infrastucture links like motorways and highspeed rail lines ~ be built in central and southeastern Europe. The northwestern part of Russia, Finland and the Baltic states must, however, also be served by similar first class in~astructure as these areas will have growing needs of quick and reliable connections to central and western Europe. As there is a risk that the infrastructure in central Europe might become overburdend if the transport needs of Russia should all haveto be covered by central European infi'astructural links, it is recommended that present infxastruemre in northwestern Europe should be upgraded - rebuilt and newbuilt - in order to serve the furore transport needs of northwestern Russia, Finland, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. What could be called a Northwestern European Land Bridge stretching from the Benelux countries, northern France and southern England up to these areas around the Baltic Sea could be imagined. The sea connections between the ports around the Baltic Sea as well as direct shipping lines from northwestern Europe to Russia, Finland and the Baltic states form an essential part of the northwestern European transport system. It should also be borne in mind that the airports in the area are very important for the development of its future relations to other parts of Europe and overseas. Certain major ird~astueural bottlenecks are identified. It is argued that investments in the infrastructure along this "bridge" ~ serve as a basis for expanded industrial activities thereby stimulating economic development in the area. It is strongly recommended that a true intermodal approach is applied when deciding on investments in the region.
Association for European Transport