Present and Future Spatial Accessibility of the Polish Sea Ports
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Spatial accessibility is an increasingly popular indicator of assessing the level of development of transport infrastructure, and its impact on the development of particular territorial units. Among the most often used indexes of accessibility that can be applied to analyses prepared for the purposes of sea ports and coastal areas, are the following: ♦ time accessibility (presenting in a cartographic review how much time it takes to get to particular points), and accumulated accessibility; ♦ potential accessibility (presenting units positions on the background of general transportation network of a given mode). The aim of this study was to assess the potential road accessibility in the years 2015 and 2030, as well as the changes resulting from the investments planned for this period of time. In the study of accessibility to the network of the existing sea ports, there were taken into account: Elbląg, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Ustka, Darłowo, Kołobrzeg, Świnoujście, Police and Szczecin. Analyses of these ports’ time accessibility have been also performed. It has been established that none of the Polish ports can boast of sufficient road connections with important national centres, which are their vital economic hinterland. The situation in Tricity (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia) is most favourable, and its further improvement depends on completion of the S5 and S7 express roads, and on the implementation of investments within the agglomeration. Extending the Szczecin Lagoon ports’ hinterland is going to be more problematic though it will also take place after the S3 road is completed. The small ports on the central coast are accessible by the system of roads only to a very limited degree and are not likely to improve their situation in the years to come. Implementation of the S6 express road will alter this state only partially (because of it running latitudinally). An integrated, spatially big market can be found only in the Tricity region. No integration of this kind can be found in the Szczecin-Świnouj- ście complex, not to mention the central part of the coast. The planned investments are to increase the range of the Tricity metropolis’s employment market (e.g. by Elbląg), and will allow an integration of the market within the area of the Szczecin Lagoon.
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