At this year’s TEN-T Days in Riga, ministers of transport, members of the European Parliament, and key stakeholders have met in the Lativan capital of Riga to discuss the development of the trans-European transport network. Special attention was paid to implementation and financing of the Core Network Corridors. Organised 22-23 June by the European Commission, in co-operation with the Latvian Presidency of the Council of European Union, Hamburg’s First Mayor was one of the speakers of the EU traffic forum.
Growth Factor for EU’s Single Market
Hamburg’s head of state is actively supporting the multimodal TEN-T core network of corridors that will make a major contribution to European integration and further strengthen the single market. Steps to upgrade the multimodal capabilities of rail, inland waterway and sea transportation infrastructures in the context of the TEN-T, plus innovative transportation technologies, will bring some welcome, added benefits: less congestion on the roads, less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and, above all, greater traffic safety. And more competition for business, unhindered by buffers, rusted up points, and, another important factor, creaking bureaucracy, will, in the final analysis, result in more jobs everywhere.
Trans-European Corridors Stimulate Economic Growth
The TEN-T will further boost the decentralised development of Europe’s hinterland with connections to several important, competing sea ports. Traffic volumes will be routed along various corridors in a way that is both economically sensible and sustainable. And because some of the land corridors have already reached the limits of their capacities, the movement of goods to and from the ports can, in the long run, only be managed through a division of methods and modes.
The First Mayor emphasised: “ Being steeped in Hanseatic traditions, we have always known that good international relations and cross-border standards are important. Today, six of the nine multimodal Trans-European corridors run through Germany. The metropolitan region of Hamburg is directly affected by the North Sea-Baltic corridor, the Orient/East-Med corridor and the Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor.
A Landmark Project: the Fixed Fehmarn Belt Link
One important project for this latter corridor is the fixed Fehmarn Belt link, including its approaches – in other words, the route linking Copenhagen and Hamburg via Fehmarn. It is an essential link between the biggest Scandinavian population centres and the European land mass, and is greatly supported by Denmark. As far as railways are concerned, Hamburg is a strong advocate of the creation of a unified European railway area, for example by implementing the European Train Control System, ETCS. In the interests of a functioning single market, it is important to progress quickly, to switch the lights to green and end national incompatibilities, in order to create a truly European standard, boosting the carrying capacity of the same infrastructure.
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