Submitted Interreg NSR project: BLUEHUB

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Six NIWE partners have submitted in January 2017 the Interreg NSR project: BLUEHUB,  under the leadpartnership of the Province of Antwerp (BE).

The partnership will develop a successful and transverable model for “blue hubs”: multimodal switching points alongside inland waterways, connecting the traditional on land mobility networks with the (not yet developed) potential of inland waterways as transport veins between rural areas and urban centers for personal and small freight transport.

The partnership will develop this orgware through transnational cooperation on 3 key objectives:
1. Developing a transferable choice model (a blueprint) for an inland
waterway hub
Working out effective methods and measures to achieve a behavioural
change from single car use to multimodal transport modes
Creating business models and new services for public water transport
and regional freight companies

BE        Province of Antwerp with subpartners: Scelta Mobility and NautiV
           University of Antwerp
           Antwerp Port Authority
NL       Waterways Netherlands
GB       Canal & River Trust
DE       Erlebnis Bremerhaven with subpartners: swb Bremerhaven
           GmbH and Magistrat Bremerhaven, Referat für Witschaft
NO      Telemark Canal Regional Park
SE       Municipality of Karlstad

If the project is agreed on, the partnership will start at the beginning of November 2017 on a three year journey to develop the following products for its stakeholders and target groups: an attractive sketch book for a blue hub choice model with the program of requirements and a signage toolkit; a recommendations & strategies report for modal shift, an attractive communication campaign to stimulate modal shift, a calculation model for water transport providers, an attractive platform for new services & an animated app for mobile life.

Pilots for blue hubs will be rolled out in the Province of Antwerp (Antwerp & Boom), the Netherlands and Bremerhaven.

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EU Referendum and NIWE

Following the UK referendum and the public decision for the UK to leave the EU, the Canal & River Trust is still committed to NIWE and the development and delivery of transnational projects with the network and other like-minded organisations.

At the Conservative Party Conference on 3rd October, Phillip Hammond (UK Govt Chancellor of the Exchequer) gave a very encouraging update on the future of EU Funding in the UK. It was announced that The Treasury will now honour all projects that have signed contracts in place until the day we officially leave the EU, even if the end date of the project surpasses this date.

The message from the Interreg Secretariats is that funding applications from the UK are still very much welcome post referendum. The Trust has had projects and Expressions of Interest approved since June 2016.

NIWE meeting London

On Thursday the 21st of April, a meeting has taken place of the NIWE (Network Inland Waterways Europe). The meeting was hosted by Canal & River Trust, one of the partners in the NIWE. On the Limehouse Basin in London came 10 representatives from 5 different countries gathered for an interesting agenda.
The agenda was focused on INTERREG Europe, they support interregional cooperation throughout Europe, and helps NIWE in the achievement of the goals through financing. NIWE is working on the future of the notably smaller waterways and supports several projects. NIWE is also developing a knowledge centre: a unique information exchange system for NIWE members with topics related to the waterways and management.
NIWE is currently involved in the North Sea region Interreg programme which will be evaluated in September. The projects arising from this are: DIME (support for micro-enterprises on our waterways), Blue Hubs, End or lifeboat (end of the life of the boat) and Small Hydro-systems. There are still opportunities to involve new partners in these projects.
The latest call for projects in the Atlantic Interreg programme has yielded positive conversations between Canal & River Trust, Waterways Ireland and Lagan Canal Trust. The NIWE welcomes a new Member: Rudy van der Ween, who represents the city of Ghent. The future of NIWE looks positively with a large number of projects in the pipeline, all with the common goal: increasing the quality of the network of smaller waterways.

Scottish Canals Case Studies

Union Canal In-House Spot Dredging Case Study

During 2014, a number of boaters had pointed out to SC operational staff that there were high spots of sediment in the Union Canal that their boats were scraping into, making navigation difficult. These complaints were combined with data from a dipping survey in the Union Canal completed by volunteers, which supported these complaints. The survey highlighted the same areas as not meeting the advertised MOC for the Union Canal (1.07m). No entirely failing lengths were identified on the Union Canal, so line dredging was not required. As the sediment is concentrated in high spots, spot dredging was determined to be most suitable. Read more in the downloadable PDF…

Union In-House Spot Dredging Case Study Jan 2015

Forth & Clyde Canal In-House Spot Dredging Case Study

In spring/ summer 2014 a number of boaters had highlighted to SC operational staff that their boats were scraping into high points of sediment at a number of sites along a 2 kilometre stretch of the Forth & Clyde Canal. These high spots of sediment were noted from Devil’s Elbow, 500 metres west of Auchinstarry Marina, through to Twechar Bridge (Bridge 17), taking in sites through Strone Point. This stretch of the Forth & Clyde Canal has a history of sediment build-up due to a number of streams entering the canal in this area, combined with a low flow of water and a number of tight bends, meaning sediment enters the canal, and is not moved away by the water, allowing it to build up around the tight bends. Read more in the downloadable PDF…

Forth & Clyde Canal In-House Spot Dredging Case Study Oct 2014


Network Inland Waterways Europe