At the beginning of September 2011, the Motorway of the Sea Gijón – Saint Nazaire completed its first year with excellent results. Dedicated to goods usually transported by road and passengers, the line, unites the two ports three times a week. It was created with support from the French and Spanish governments and the European Commission through a grant cofinancing to three years. Also the efforts devoted by the two port authorities in their search for a diversification of traffic are not to be ignored.
The objectives of the Motorways of the Sea are clear: to eliminate heavy vehicles on European roads with a double purpose: to reduce costs (in time and money) and encourage greater respect for the environment. Significant data are the inclusion of it in Spanish Ports Act or the reduction of travel in ten hours.
The success of the line involved using a larger ship than expected, the Norman Asturias, 186.46 meters long and 26 wide, a maximum speed of 24 knots and a capacity for 800 passengers and 400 vehicles. When forecasts were of 60% in the first year, the figures round 90% in the new ship.
As new challenges, boost the load on the French port, enhance the transport of unaccompanied trucks and new cars, and if the market is favourable, increasing frequency.
These results and other components of the success of the Motorway of the Sea Saint-Nazaire-Gijón will be discussed at the Port Cities meeting organized by the CAAC next November 7th in Saint Nazaire.
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