This UK led Project is concerned with the sustainable distribution of general freight in North West Europe. To achieve their objectives, the partners wish to maximise the economic development role of ports. International traffic between the UK and continental Europe is a specific territorial issue which concerns a number of regions in terms of short sea shipping and rail. These partner regions all are keen to make the necessary improvements in a sustainable manner, to ensure that they remain strong economic European gateways to international trade.
The project will carried out in three phases and in three directions. The first will be sustainable distribution, the second the economic development of ports, and the third will be to develop a maritime integrated network and strategy. The partners will also engage with other maritime projects (ie EMDI) to extend their knowledge base and share results more widely.
The overall objective of the IMPACTE project would be to promote port-based sustainable development. This encompasses sustainable distribution (rail and short sea shipping, focussing on environmental benefits and intermodality) of general freight within North West Europe and maximising the economic development role of ports (generating added value, contributing to regeneration and increasing the competitiveness of economies). This is to be achieved by investments in small-scale infrastructure, the completion of focussed studies on key issues for the long term (leading to the development of Action Plans) and the development of a spatial strategy for the Channel Arc.
Within this overall objective, subsidiary aims are to:
- Develop unit load rail services from ports for international traffic, based on small-scale investments in rail terminals at (or close to) ports and develop longer distance short sea shipping services between the UK and the continental mainland based on small-scale investments in RoRo terminals;
- Examine in detail the traffic flows between the continental mainland and the UK, with forecasts into the future, to establish potential opportunities for additional new short sea shipping services and sustainable distribution of freight inland (by rail) in the future;
- Quantify the existing economic impact of ports and promote the economic development role of ports in the public policy arena;
- Examine how ports can capture and maximise economic benefits in port regions, particularly by developing added value distribution activity at the port themselves and through clustering in general;
- Establish the cost of, and funding strategy for, the development of a high-gauge rail link between the Port of Southampton and the West Midlands for international containerised traffic;
- Establish how the Port of Dover can be re-connected to the rail network so that some modal shift of unitised traffic is possible on the Dover-Calais route;
- Develop an integrated spatial strategy for the Channel Arc maritime region with the objectives of increasing trade and intermodal distribution of the resultant traffic inland;
- Develop a strong and sustainable trans-national partnership to develop additional new services and other projects, perhaps through INTERREG IV;
- Develop mutual understanding of the issues involved in evaluating, comparing and developing practical, port-related projects in each country.
Action plans & strategies:
- Container Loading Facility, Port of Southampton, UK
- Dredged RoRo berth, Ramsgate, UK
- RoRo berth, Port of Oostende, Belgium
- Intermodal Railhead, Portsmouth, UK
- RoRo berth, Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium
- Action Plan to maximise the economic development potential of ports;
- Action Plan for the development of a new short sea shipping services between the UK and the continental mainland, with traffic flow data;
- PPP financing structure for rail loading gauge up-grade scheme;
- Engineering design for key bottleneck on major rail route for international trade;
- Action Plan to reinstate rail link to Port of Dover;
- Integrated maritime spatial strategy for the Channel Arc;
- Network of ports and their spatial planning authorities;
- Project website.