Improving water-based public transport is a key issue in the NSR to safeguard sustainable accessibility of regions which would otherwise be inaccessible or suffering from their remote location. The iTransfer partners pursue an implementation-oriented TOP approach to improve water-based accessibility by fostering development of Technology (ferries & landings), Operation (integration with public transport & set-up of ferry connections) and addressing Policy issues (tendering of ferry services & barrier-free access for disabled people) on the national and EU level.
01/10/2010 - 01/10/2013
3 - Improving the Accessibility of Places in the North Sea Region
South East of Scotland Transport Partnership SESTRAN
Kent County Council
Port of Oostende
BIS - Bremerhaven Touristik
Damen Shipyards Gorinchem
Background and Aim
Aim The aim of iTransfer is to develop and present innovative, sustainable solutions in ferry technology, operation and policy to improve regional accessibility by water-based public transport in the NSR via a TOP approach: - resolve Technological issues (design of ferries and landings), - improve ferry Operation (integration of ferries with the public transport system and set-up of new ferry connections) - support a Policy environment which resolves tendering problems and recommend comprehensive barrier-free access solutions. Focussing on ferries as sustainable means of transport to optimize access to regions where water courses offer potential for public transport, it seeks a strategy “how” to make efficient use of this potential. By working together across different regions and sectors the project will develop a new ship design, adapt a ship for eco-fuel and build a tide proof landing, and build critical mass to show new policy options.
Background North Sea local and regional authorities wish to improve their accessibility as sustainable as possible. The road system is often congested. NSR has significant underused capacity for water transport on rivers and estuaries, new ferry services could offer new access for passengers and improved interconnectivity within cities, islands or inland destinations by river.
Regional, national and EU programmes and policies demand reduction of CO2 emissions. Business and tourism need greater accessibility and interconnectivity of public transport. Regional Public Transport Authorities seeking improved accessibility of islands and suburbs are looking for appropriate ferry technology which offers modern and commercially viable transport quality, combining reduced fuel consumption, low CO2 emissions, and less wash to protect the fauna and flora near the shore. To implement new transport concepts, more and new types of ferry landings are required because of the huge North Sea tide hub. We need to understand the passenger ferry market demand, specific passengers’ requirements and needs in order to tailor solutions to compete against individual transport.
As rules in the field of passenger ferry transport have become so complex and sophisticated, European players such as local, regional and national administrations and (public) transport authorities, ferry operators and shipyards have joined forces trans-nationally in the iTransfer project to work jointly on new technology, operational concepts and policy frameworks to improve accessibility and sustainability.
Installation and launch of an innovative accessible NSR ferry-landing and a sustainable standard NSR ferry operating with liquefied natural gas (LNG);
Set-up of new ferry connections;
A joint knowledge base on ferry operation;
Improve accessibility of places, higher sustainability of passenger transport and increase efficiency of public transport systems.
April - September 2011
Given the importance of short and long-haul ferry traffic in the region, improvements in the sustainability of ferry operations could have major benefits for the region as a whole, while further shifts of traffic from road to water will also be beneficial. The project has now started work on both aspects and although it is at an early stage, there are already encouraging outcomes. A wide range of solutions for removing barriers to the implementation of existing sustainable technologies (such as providing floating LNG bunkering facilities) and for introducing completely new ideas are under investigation.
October 2010 - March 2011
The iTransfer launch event took place in London in December 2011and involved 30 attendees representing the project partners. The event involved briefing partners on project management and partners gave presentations on their areas of work. A project website was launched and is accessible here: www.itransferproject.eu.
A workshop was held on Responsible and Efficient Design of Ferries and Landings (Technology). This event brought together number of transnational partners (ferry operator, port management, authorities' representatives, architects, engineers) from 4 North Sea countries to discuss and exchange expertise with regards to a sustainable and accessible pontoon concept. The workshop resulted in a revised improved pontoon design which is now under construction and should be completed and operational soon.