Background and Aim
The aim of iTransfer was to develop and present innovative, sustainable solutions in ferry technology, operation and policy to improve regional accessibility by water-based public transport in the North Sea Region 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 resolved tendering problems and recommended 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, iTransfer sought a strategy on “how” to make efficient use of this potential. By working together across different regions and sectors, the project developed a new ship design, adapted a ship for eco-fuel and built a tide proof landing, and built critical mass to show new policy options.
North Sea local and regional authorities wish to improve their accessibility as sustainably as possible. The road system is often congested. The North Sea Region 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 joined forces transnationally in the iTransfer project to work jointly on new technology, operational concepts and policy frameworks to improve accessibility and sustainability.