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Euskadi lies at the intersection of the main north-south, Irún-Madrid (N-I) road, and the east-west (Barcelona-Zaragoza-A Coruña) road, and is communicated with the rest of Europe via the E-5, E-70 (A-8) and E-80 (A-68) roads.

Internal communication is fluid and safe via a dense road network with multiple access routes to the motorways joining the main Basque towns and cities.Roads currently absorb 80% of passenger transport and 67% of goods, while railways capture 19% of passenger movements and 2% of goods, in addition to the 30% that go by sea transport, according to details included in the Sustainable Transport Master Plan.

Euskadi is also connected by railway to the main Spanish capitals via the RENFE network, and, locally, via the networks operated by the companies FEVE and EuskoTren. The first of these covers the geographical area of the Cantabrian coast and the second, belonging to the Basque Government, provides the main Basque towns and cities with local and suburban train services.
In addition, Euskadi is now tackling the most important railway scheme yet carried out, the so-called Basque railway "Y". This is a high-speed corridor allowing the three most important Basque cities to be linked in around half an hour by latest-generation trains, and which will link to long-distance lines and their international connections. The current connection of the border town of Irún with the French TGV, which enables passengers to travel from Euskadi to Paris in just over five hours, with connections on to the main European cities, should be highlighted.

Euskadi also has three airports, provided with excellent passenger and goods transport infrastructures, which are near the main cities and which are complementary to one another given the short distances separating them.

Bilbao Airport is one of the most important airports on the Cantabrian coast in terms of passenger movements. It shows annual movements of almost three million passengers, with regular flights to almost all the main Spanish cities and the most important ones in Europe, such as Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, London, Brussels, Milan, Lisbon, Oporto and Bordeaux.
Vitoria-Gasteiz Airport, which has the most advanced systems to guarantee its activity in the most adverse weather conditions and with capacity to receive the largest existing aircrafts, has specialised in freight traffic and is currently in fourth place in the Spanish air freight rankings. It also has a perishable products terminal operating 24 hours a day.

And Hondarribia Airport, near Donostia-San Sebastián, has many flights to the most important cities in Spain, completing passenger transport coverage in Euskadi.

As for shipping, Euskadi has two commercial ports: Bilbao, the largest, and Pasaia, which have considerable port infrastructures for the movement of oil products, general goods, vehicles and iron and steel. The two Basque commercial ports are facing 21st century with considerable transformations in their physical facilities and their management. The main aim of the strategic plans being carried out by their managers is to increase the added value of commercial operations by expanding their facilities and diversifying their traffic.

Goods traffic at the Port of Bilbao exceeds 30 million tonnes a year, a figure that puts it in fourth place in the rankings for movements in Spain. The port's main destinations are in Atlantic European countries, which are the origin or destination of more than 50% of its goods. This is followed by trade with the American continent, which represents 18% of the total; the Asia Pacific area, with 16%, largely corresponding to oil imports, and operations with African ports, with 7% of port traffic.

The Port of Bilbao can accept ships 378 metres in length and weighing more than 500,000 tonnes. Its facilities have a draught ranging from 5 metres in the Nervión ria to 32 metres in the outer port, where the large oil tankers moor to discharge their crude oil at the Petronor refinery.

The Port of Pasajes  specialisation in iron and steel and scrap metal products, paper and cars should be highlighted among its main assets, with goods movements reaching 6 million tonnes a year.

As well as these ports, Euskadi has another fifteen smaller ports carrying on activities in the areas of sea transport, fishing and sporting activities. Most of them have had their mooring wharfs and port areas extended, allowing them to grow in accordance with their needs, such as the Port of Bermeo, which has recovered its commercial character, continuing to encourage fishing.



Related Links
Basque railway "Y"


Source: Presidency of the Government - General Secretariat for Communication

Fecha de la última modificación: 06/11/2008