Ramboll is part of the consultancy group led by Pöyry that has been appointed on the EUR 1.4 million ‘Barents Freeway’ project, which will pave the way for cohesive and optimised future development of the transport network in the Barents region.

Transport links in the Barents Region, which straddles northern Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia, have historically been developed from north to south with little consideration given to integrating networks across national borders. However, globalisation and renewed interest in the Arctic are spurring the region’s transport administrations and transport system developers to co-operate in setting common objectives and eliminating border constraints

The aim is to facilitate shared economic and social development across the region. By undertaking a broad and integrated assessment of transport network development, Ramboll are focused on achieving shared long-term transport objectives. This includes tangible actions to improve coordination of projects where there is a common interest across borders. The outcome will be a strong platform for the sustainable development of businesses, higher employment and improved quality of life.

The project will be a basis for international agreement on prioritization of transport corridors. National governments in the region will thus be able to make important strategic decisions. In particular, there is great attention paid to the possible future rail links between Norway and Finland. Also shipping along the coast of Norway and Russia could face an interesting development because of increased traffic on the Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia.

As a result of increased activity in the High North, air traffic will become increasingly important . The Barents Region has distance disadvantages which efficient connecting flights will be able to compensate.

The project is scheduled for completion in December 2014.

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