Factors involved in standardizing the dimensions of class Vb inland waterways (canals)
International Navigation Association
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This report draws attention to two aspects of these proposals: (1) The proposals result in a not inconsiderable increase of the previously applied standards (length and width of locks, draft under bridges, channel depth and width), even for so-called low-traffic waterways. This may result in financing difficulties of infrastructures. However, the Committee is of the opinion that the economic and environmental advantages of fluvial traffic can only be fully exploited if the infrastructures are well adapted to the capacity of the actual boats. Within the present context of strong competition amongst modes, where trucks benefit from an ever developing road network and the new high-speed trains free existing railway lines for the transport of goods, only the development of a modern waterway network can assure an equitable split among transport modes, to the great benefit of our environment and providing the best conditions for industrial and agricultural activities. (2) These proposals are particularly tailored to the European waterway network which, at the notable exception of the Rhine, is based on man-made canals and canalized rivers with low flows, compared to f.i. the American and Asian rivers.