The transport routes, particularly in northern continental Europe, are overburdened. The ever increasing amount of goods on the roads is worsening an already acute situation in terms of traffic congestion, pollution and long delivery times, which results in serious delays and high costs.
A Mid Nordic Corridor (MNC) would provide a viable alternative for some of the goods presently moving southwards through Scandinavia, mainly for those being transported from the northern parts of the countries. This is defined as an east-west goods transport link through the Mid Nordic Region with connections to the UK, continental Europe and Russia.
Within the framework of the Interreg BSR Programme 2003 - 2006, the NECL I project formed a "Strategy for North East Cargo Link", containing measures for the elimination of bottlenecks and missing links in the transport infrastructure, as well as improvements in the intermodality by the establishment of combi-terminals on suitable locations in the MNC.
The objective of NECL II project is to implement the Strategy in close co-operation with the national transport authorities and industry over the national boarders through pre-investment studies for investments, development of transport solutions and a continued development of a logistic ICT solution (Portal).
The partnership in the NECL II project consist of Transport Authorities, Fylken in Norway, County Councils and Counties Administrative Boards in Sweden and Regional Councils in Finland, municipalities in all countries, the non-profit organisation (NECLA). The project has political support from the national transport ministers in Norway, Sweden and Finland as well as the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The activities proposed are focusing on the improvement of roads, railways and intermodal solutions, as well as the development of an ICT system for optimization of goods transport in the corridor. The project will contribute to a sustainable, environmental friendly mid-nordic east-west "Green corridor".
The project also contributes to the "Action Plan" of the "EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea" e.g.in the following fields:
- Aiming at making the Baltic Sea Region an Accessible and Attractive place.
- Increased regional cooperation on transport issues for example on the interoperability of transport systems.
- The stakeholders should jointly identify the infrastructure gaps which are important for the whole region (e.g. on North-South and East-West axes).
- Facilitate efficient overall Baltic freight transport and logistics solutions
The project will also have close contacts with the strategic "TRANSBALTIC" project.
The project has been running for 3 years and is now in its final closing phase. The final conference was held August 21-22, 2013 in Sundsvall. Interesting that the Russian embassy in Sweden visited our conference and they were really interested in the Midnordic concept. A result from the conference was a memo sent to the Midnordic committee resulting later in an acceptance to continue the work to establish a Midnordic corridor. As far as we understand the committee is currently in the phase of planning a new EU-project. The project is officially established. The proof of that is that our studies are used as referral documents in official studies, national statements and among university students in their work. We also still have many visitors on our website (500-600 per week). Interesting is also that our project is used in the internal debate between Russia and Finland on official level regarding international border development and east-west business development possibilities. Russia is currently building a new motorway on the vest side of Ladoga all the way up to the artic sea. They are also planning a new 4 lane motorway towards Parikkala in Finland. Official statements from the head of Karelia say that they are planning to open the border crossing Parikkala-Syväoro as international border crossing for vehicles during 2017. This matter is important not only for Finland and Russia but for all the Nordic countries as well as for EU as a whole since it affects trade and business for all countries. http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=273363&contentlan=2&culture=en-US In the spring of 2013 the project was asked officially to income with statements and speaks on a conference held by the Nordic Council. A result the council asked the Swedish parliament to request the Swedish government to take actions regarding the possible implications from the Sulphur directive. Continue below... The Nordic Council made their own study and sent out guidelines to all Nordic countries in during this fall. Other referral documents and statements from the project have been included in the Swedish National Transport Plan looking at needs up to year 2050. The Norwegian National Transport Plan with the official decision regarding electrification of the Meråkerline is a huge success in the project since the issue has been debated over 20 years and finally we got a decision. During the project lifespan we have also played an important role in the combo terminal and business are developments in Ånge (Sweden), Seinäjoki (Finland and on the Finnish-Russian border region in Parikkala (Finland). Our Transnational Business plan is our last contribution and will be sent out to headhunted recipients. The document can and should be used as a base for discussion and not as factsheet since it only shows possibilities needed to be put in hands-on actions by interested stakeholders.