Zugbrücke bei Freudenstadt

Transport Corridors and Economic Development

Reliable, well-connected and fast transport for people and goods is a fundamental precondition for economic development of European regions. However, at the same time road transport is a major source for CO2 and NOx emissions throughout Europe and therefore must become more environment-friendly and sustainable. 

Yet, despite several initiatives and projects in the past, all along the new "Scandinavian-Adriatic" transport corridor vast development potentials of rail-bound transport remain still unexploited, as often tertiary and secondary transport nodes are only poorly integrated with the core TEN-T network and its hubs. In the Central German Metropolitan Region, for example, merely the cities of Dresden, Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig are directly connected with the TEN-T network, while many smaller cities still suffer from reduced connections towards the primary network. Due to the increasing focus on high-speed and long distance travel this unsatisfying situation is even expected to worsen. This divide in connectivity does not only negatively impact on the social dimension of transport, it also hampers a prosperous economic development of cities and regions.

As today's infrastructure in many areas is already well established, future activities must be rather geared towards implementing new management and use patterns of the existing body of infrastructure, new cooperation approaches among operators, the better integration of different transport modes as well as strengthening the interlinks between spatial, economic and infrastructure planning, if needed also across borders .    

 Departing from the various European projects and policies related to the future development of transport corridors (e.g. the revised TEN-T guidelines or The work plans of the 11 European Coordinators for the TEN-T) European projects can still provide an important stimulus towards better integration of regions and cities. Supporting the delivery of the Strategy Europe 2020 or the Territorial Agenda of the EU 2020, the efficient use of European programs and tools such the "Connecting Europe Facility" will play a key role.

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© Rainer Sturm, pixelio.de