Netherlands earmarks 105 million euros for cross-border rail in North Sea Port
The cross-border rail freight project in North Sea Port that connects Zeelandic Flanders (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen) with Ghent will receive 105 million euros from the Dutch Growth Fund (Groeifonds). With this, the Dutch government underlines the importance of rail development in the port area for structural and sustainable economic growth.
The governments of the Netherlands, Belgium and Flanders are working together on improved access to North Sea Port by rail. To this end, they also signed a declaration of intent with the region in 2021 for better rail access in the port area between Terneuzen and Ghent.
The decision of the Dutch government was taken on the advice of the independent committee for the National Growth Fund chaired by Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Because it is a cross-border project, in line with the Agreement of Intent concluded in 2021, it is expected that the necessary parallel steps will also be taken in Belgium in the coming years.
The approval of the contribution by the Growth Fund underlines the national and regional importance of this unique cross-border rail project and its contribution to the structural and sustainable economic growth of the Netherlands.
Dutch State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Management) commented: “It is fantastic news that the National Growth Fund has decided to invest 105 million euros in the cross-border rail section between Terneuzen and Ghent. I think it is very important that we better connect border regions. By looking beyond borders and improving connections with our neighbours, we make the Netherlands a little bigger in a figurative sense and we take advantage of opportunities in the field of the economy, employment and education.
Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port added: “With this decision by the Dutch government, a crucial step has been taken in financing this cross-border railway. In addition to economic motives, North Sea Port is fully committed to improving sustainability and quality of life in and around the cross-border port area. A reduction in road transport in favor of sustainable alternatives such as rail is an ambition that we have implemented with our Connect 2025 strategic plan.
This article first appeared on sister publication RailFreight.com