Water transport (sea & inland) (key theme).
Awareness, information and user rights
Background & policy context:
The continuing growth of road transport has led to unacceptable damage to the environment and congestion on European road networks. One way of helping to relieve this situation would be the modal move towards rail and waterborne transport. Such a modal shift would only work, for example, if inland navigation becomes financially and operationally attractive to shipping and industry.
In order to improve the commercial viability of inland waterway transport, a number of research projects have been initiated by the 4th Framework Programme of the European Union. Currently these are:
INCARNATION - is concerned with the provision of vessel traffic information services for inland waterways. It aims specifically to examine the feasibility of supplying river navigators directly onboard their vessels, with operational traffic images from the shore-based radar and other information sources
EUDET - will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the Danube Waterway's efficiency as a key infrastructure of the south-east axis supporting traffic flows between western and eastern Europe
Shifting Cargo - seeks to increase the utilisation of Europe's waterways by the identification of short and long term strategies, and aims to submit proposals and guidelines for pilot projects
RINAC - seeks to identify the functional requirements for the introduction of a control centre on board an inland navigation vessel which integrates shore-based radar and transponder systems
The Concerted Action aims to:
Coordinate research and development projects on inland navigation funded by the European Union, national or private bodies
Identify obstacles responsible for the low profile of inland waterway transportation and define remedial actions
Support the implementation of pilot projects with the objective of demonstrating the results of the research projects
Evaluate remedial action proposals with respect to European and national objectives, regulations and practical use
Prepare a consensus report on the research results and recommendations