UBC Theses and Dissertations
The Integration of lake transportation with road and railway systems: the case of the Volta Basin in Ghana Akwele, Virginia Emelia Engmann
The slow rate of development in some of the regions of Ghana, and in fact of the developing countries, is partly-due to the lack of adequate and efficient transportation services. The provision of such services is greatly hindered by the excessive competition between transportation modes and the inexpedient allocation of capital resources for transport development. The utilization of the Volta Lake for the purposes of transportation will probably constitute a source of competition to existing modes of transportation, particularly roads. In order to make possible the use of this economical means of transport, ways must be found to integrate lake transport with existing systems, since water transport cannot function efficiently as a separate system. It is hypothesized that an integrated system of road, rail and lake transport can be used as a means of achieving the economic, physical and social objectives for the balanced regional development of the Volta Basin. In order to evaluate the potential development of transport integration and the possibilities of utilizing integrated transport facilities as a tool for achieving regional development, the concepts of transport integration and transport coordination are defined and reviewed. It is demonstrated that transport integration is concerned with the employment of each mode of transportation in the economic circumstances best suited to its characteristics. The concept of the region and the process of regional planning and development are also reviewed. The regional unit appropriate to planning in the developing countries is the 'uniform region', which is described in terms of its similar problem characteristics. Regional planning and development have evolved as a means of solving these problems and of ordering the natural and human resources in order to ensure balanced growth. The Volta Basin regional planning unit is determined to be viable for the purposes of development; however, for this study, the region is extended to include the Tamale Area in the north and the Accra-Tema Area in the southeast, because of the tremendous flow of traffic between the two areas. In order to investigate how Volta Lake transport could be integrated with road and railway systems, the case study approach is used. The principles of integrated transport development utilized in the U.S.S.R., and in the Tennessee Valley Region and the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area of the U.S.A. are reviewed. It is observed that an efficient transportation system is considered to be a means of achieving economic, physical and social development in these countries. The principles of transport integration in the U.S.S.R. include joint traffic scheduling, distribution of traffic among the various modes of transportation, rate structuring and a centralized system of control. A major limitation is the high-cost of transshipment. In the Tennessee Valley Region and in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area of the U.S.A., transport integration is based on the principles of joint rate structuring and containership operations respectively. The use of containers eliminates the problem of transshipment; however, the basence of a coordinating body is a major drawback to transport integration in the Tennessee Valley Region. On the basis of these principles, a method for integrating Volta Lake transport with road and railway systems is proposed. The sources of potential traffic for Volta Lake transport are examined and it is concluded that there is a demand for a Volta Lake transportation system. The principles of integrated transport development employed in the U.S.S.R., the Tennessee Valley Region and the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area of the U.S.A. are considered to be relevant for application in the Volta Basin. The establishment of a Lake Transport Authority to implement integrated transport policies is recommended. It is concluded that an integrated transportation system will contribute both directly and indirectly to the regional objectives of economic development, the provision of better employment opportunities, a higher level of living, provision of community facilities and services and the rational distribution of settlements.
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