MPs, members of the Parliamentary Group for Development of Waterways, representatives of the central government and ports, local government officials and specialists discussed the transport use of the Lower Vistula River, as well as opportunities and actions necessary to achieve the above-mentioned goal.
According to Jerzy Wcisła, Senator of the Republic of Poland, launching inland water transport on the Lower Vistula in the area of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Pomorskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Mazowieckie Voivodeships is an opportunity for the development of these regions. In turn, Mr Witold Wróblewski, the Mayor of Elbląg, drew attention to the fact that even though the port of Elbląg is not located directly on the Vistula, for its further development it should be accessible both from the sea (shipping channel through the Vistula Spit) and from inland (waterways E40 and E70).
During the conference, Prof. Zygmunt Babiński of Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz took the floor and discussed the possibility of operating inland waterway transport while respecting environmental protection rules. Plans and strategies for development of waterways in Poland, with particular focus on the Vistula River and IWW, were also discussed by Dr Krzysztof Wrzosek, Director of the Strategic Projects Office of the Polish Water Management Authority, and Marta Kunicka of the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation. Next, Ms Aleksandra Cilińdź, IWW 40 Revitalisation Project Manager of the Gdańsk Sea Port, presented the progress of work on a feasibility study for comprehensive development of the international waterways: E40 for the Vistula River on the section from Gdańsk to Warsaw, E40 from Warsaw to the Poland-Belarus border (Brest), and E70 on the section from the Vistula River to the Vistula Lagoon (Elbląg).
Mr Arkadiusz Zgliński, Director of the Elbląg Port Authority, pointed out the effects of revitalisation of the Lower Vistula, including increase in the exchange of goods with Tri-City ports and other centres in Poland, such as Bydgoszcz and Warsaw.
The conference was summed up with a conclusion on the benefits of using the potential of the Lower Vistula, resulting from, among others, dynamic growth of transshipments in the sea ports of Gdańsk and Gdynia. Unfortunately, the process of upgrading the Vistula to, among others, class VI navigability may last until 2050. This is too distant a prospect for the Tri-City seaports to handle cargo efficiently. For this reason, it is necessary to restore the current navigational parameters on the Lower Vistula, ensuring, at least at a minimum level, stable navigation conditions throughout the navigation season in order to be able to partially use inland waterway transport.