Chairman of the Regional Council, Region Zealand, Mr. Jens Stenbæk, welcomed the fully packed closing conference of the Green STRING Corridor by commending the future opportunities the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link will bring: In short, Scandinavia and Europe will simply become closer.
"This opens up for new perspectives for future growth and employment in the STRING region. And it also gives us opportunities to develop new and more sustainable modes of transport. This means supporting the fulfillment of the EU climate goals of 60 pct. reduction in carbon emission from the transport sector in 2050", Mr. Stenbæk said.
A positive development of the new transport corridor will reinforce the international competitiveness of the STRING region and its role as a driver for smart and green growth in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Three basic preconditions
However, Jens Stenbæk, pointed out the need to be aware of three basic preconditions we must work on in order to fulfill:
The development of a joint railway strategy ensuring seamless cross-border connections between Sweden, Denmark and Germany. We need connections that combine both fast intercity and interregional train services. The fastest travel time should be 2 ½ hour Öresund-Hamburg.
The development of a green transport corridor based on resource efficient and innovative transport solutions on road and rail. We need greener solutions for the road transport in terms of a fossil free supply infrastructure for cars and trucks based on gas and electricity.
Finally, a focus on the development of smarter and greener transport solutions in the regional clusters of logistics industry. The logistics industry is crucial because it saves time and money for its customers. These logistics companies are an important link in obtaining the full benefits from new infrastructure investments in terms of better mobility of goods.
This means that the Green STRING Corridor can pinpoint two main challenges:
The three national transport authorities each focus on their own national traffic systems and far less on cross border corridor traffic. This challenges the corridor's potentials. We need to take action together and soon.
The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link will significantly improve the possibilities for transport, which again will create more traffic. Here, the challenge is to make sure that the increased traffic takes place in the most environmentally sustainable way possible.
STRING stresses common planning
The STRING cooperation has worked hard towards the pressing issue of cross border coordination of service and operation of train services crossing the Fehmarnbelt Link and could, just the previous day, present their "Copenhagen Declaration", urging the national authorities in Sweden, Denmark and Germany to initiate the planning of a common, future service, now.
At the end of the conference Chairman Jens Stenbæk handed over a symbolic, green dépêche on behalf of the partners in the Green STRING Corridor project. The dépêche contained the recommendations for needed initiatives in order to develop a truly green and efficient STRING transport corridor between Öresund and Hamburg. Mr. Stenbæk handed it over with the hope that the STRING network will "keep running" with the findings and recommendations.
Mr. Henrik Appel, new Chairman of STRING and Member of Copenhagen City Council, received the dépêche and added:
"I believe that standing together will be an important step in making sure that the STRING corridor develops further to a dynamic green growth region, with good connectivity and high accessibility to our livable cities for the benefit of our inhabitants, the business and investors".