Challenges within the theme of transport

The efficiency and costs of freight transport are hampered by congestion in and around the biggest ports in the Hamburg–Le Havre range. Congestion also has a negative impacton the environment.

At the same time, most peripheral parts of the North Sea Region suffer from poor accessibility in terms of few route options, low frequency of services, long travel times and high transport costs due to low cargo and passenger volumes and long distances to markets, work places, education and services.

It is a barrier to modal shift that intermodal transport is perceived as more complicated and less reliable than road transport. Maritime transport suffers from time-consuming and complexa dministrative handling procedures compared to land-based transport modes. Rail freight is hampered by limited reliability and interoperability across borders.

Transport is still too oil-dependent and would have to improve its environmental performance substantially in terms of higher energy efficiency and reduced emissions in order to achieve the EU emission reduction targets.

Although maritime transport is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport in terms of energy consumption per transported unit, the increase in global volumes nevertheless makes shipping a significant source of air pollution. Ships are the largest single emission source for nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and sulphur oxide emissions in the transport sector.

Focus for the North Sea Commission’s work

The NSR 2020 strategy defines the following focus areas under the priority for Increasing Accessibility and Clean Transport:

  • Promote development of multimodal transport corridors and facilitate modal shift from road to sea
  • Optimising performance of multimodal logistic chains
  • Clean transport
  • Clean shipping

How do we work

Collect data and input from members and stakeholders in the transport industry

Monitor relevant policy developments on EU and national level

Formulate policy positions and statements in response to consultations on relevant EU policy papers & instruments

Act as a channel for policy recommendations and dissemination of results from Interreg projects

Participate actively in the CPMR Working group on Transport

Compile, disseminate and possibly transfer good practice across member regions

Capitalize on results from relevant EU-funded projects (mainly Interreg)

Develop ideas and applications for EU-funded projects (mainly Interreg)

Serve as a common platform for related Interreg projects

Organise thematic events with participation of projects partners and industry stakeholders, e.g. ports, shipping lines, transport operators and infrastructure managers

What does the group focus on?

The group has selected a limited number of measures in the North Sea Region 2020 strategy document to focus on the next 2–3 years:

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