chapter  2
31 Pages

INLAND WATERWAYS TRANSPORT—THE ‘NATURAL’ MODE

In many respects inland waterway transport has been the neglected mode and does not usually feature prominently in the transport planning strategies of most countries (Hilling, 1980; Deplaix, 1989; Tolofari, 1984). Perhaps this is because waterway transport is the most ‘natural’ and least obtrusive mode and much of it takes place, especially in Developing Countries, by low-technology means which are widely dispersed, not easily regulated or controlled and for which the collection of tolls and statistics is difficult or even impossible. Yet at times of increasing concern for the environment and the long-term need, but not the immediate will, to economise on fossil fuels, water transport recommends itself as the mode which should be encouraged to the full. For the Developing Country there is the additional advantage that where there are waterways their transport capacity can often be increased substantially at low cost in comparison with other modes. This will be of particular significance where there is the potential for moving large volumes of bulk goods.