Big changes to North Sea shipping lanes

Transport authority Rijkswaterstaat is changing all the shipping lanes on the Dutch part of the North Sea on Wednesday and Thursday.

The change is necessary to make the shipping lanes easier to manage, to make ports more accessible and to create more space for wind farms, Nos television reports.

The new lanes will allow for adjoining areas to be formed where new wind turbines can be built.

The new routes will be in use from August 1 at 02.00 hours and the complex business of changing them is being carried out in just two days. It is the biggest change in shipping lanes ever undertaken anywhere in the world, according to Rijkswaterstaat.

Shipping companies were informed months ago of the changes but are being accompanied by extra Rijkswaterstaat ships during the change-over.

The shipping lanes are like motorways for ships. There are different lanes from north to south and vice versa and lanes to and from the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In addition, there are ‘parking places’  or anchorages for ships waiting to enter port.


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