The “Act to Speed Up Approval Procedures in the Transport Sector”, approved by the German government, aims to accelerate specific road and rail initiatives identified as “overriding public interest”. However, a point of contention arises from the exclusion of waterways from the designation of accelerated projects. Seven key stakeholders active along the Rhine are urging the Federal Republic’s lawmakers to remedy this omission by prioritizing projects crucial for preserving the Rhine’s standing as Europe’s primary waterway.

The stakeholders emphasize the need for prompt allocation of resources for key projects aiming to preserve Rhine’s pivotal role as Europe’s primary waterway.

Highlighted Waterway Projects:

  1. Middle Rhine Navigation Enhancement (BVWP 2030, W25): A project addressing bottlenecks and improving navigation efficiency.
  2. Rhine Navigation Improvement (BVWP 2030, W27): aims to ensure smooth navigation along the Rhine between Duisburg and Stürzelberg.
  3. Wesel-Datteln Canal Extension and “Large Locks” Replacement (BVWP 2030, W23): an initiative for enhancing connectivity and addressing infrastructure needs.

Recommendations include concentrating resources at the Federal Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping and implementing suggestions from the “Middle Rhine Acceleration Commission.”

From the stakeholders’ perspective, timely completion of these projects is imperative. The bottleneck on the Middle Rhine, particularly during low water phases, poses challenges, impacting inland navigation across the entire Rhine region.

Source: Strengthen and prioritise the Rhine waterway as a sustainable mode of transport and economic factor