In the framework of the development of cross-border cooperation between Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden, an updated draft Joint Barents Transport Plan has recently been adopted by Barents Euro-Arctic Transport Area (BEATA). The document aims at creating an effective transport system within BEAR, including efficient transport corridors and strong links with global markets. The draft contains proposals for the development of a motorway, railway, sea and air transport network and describes 16 cross-border routes in Northern Europe.
A team of experts including specialists from NArFU Higher School of Engineering working under the Kolarctic Northern Axis-Barents Link project has been contributing to the implementation of the Joint Barents Transport Plan.
The international project team uniting experts from the four countries is currently researching alternative direct highways between the Republic of Karelia and Arkhangelsk (Vartius – Arkhangelsk). The study involves layout options evaluation as well as a preliminary assessment of their environmental impact in the context of future traffic flow increase. The team also plans to analyze the impact of several Russian railway projects (such as the launch of the railway Ledmozero-Kochkoma and the Northern Latitudinal Railway) on the Barents railway network and develop an economic rationale behind parts of the Kontiomaeki – Taivalkoski – Kemijaervi railway. Under separate discussion is the potential of small civil aviation within the Barents transport system, in particular the possibility of creating a Northern Finland-Russia air corridor.
The project development will continue for two years in close collaboration with the BEATA Development Working Group.