4 out of 10 set out transport transeuropean network corridors run through Poland, two of which go through the Śląskie Voivodeship:
- corridor III - Berlin - Wrocław - Katowice - Krakow - Lvov
- corridor VI - Gdańsk - Katowice - Żylina
Within the area of the Śląskie Voivodeship, there are the historically formed, important railway routes, heading north-south and east-west, of which the three main railway lines are a part of the international „E" (AGC) network:
- E30 Dresden - Zgorzelec - Wrocław - Katowice - Krakow - Medyka - Lvov - Kiev - Moscow
- E59 Malmö - Ystad - Świnoujście - Zielona Góra - Wrocław - Racibórz - Chałupki
- E65 Gdynia - Warsaw - Katowice - Zebrzydowice - Ostrava - Vienna
The municipal transport network in the Śląskie Voivodeship is the most developed in Poland, which is evidenced by, among others, over 20-percent share in the length of all the transport lines in Poland. Here, there are 363 km of the tram tracks (whereas in Łódzkie Voivodeship, there are 207 km and in Mazowieckie - 241).
The Upper-Silesian Agglomeration
The Upper-Silesian agglomeration is an important element of the Śląskie Voivodeship settlement structure. It is a group of towns within the distance of about 70 km, from Dabrowa Górnicza to Gliwice, in fact, adjacent to one another, with the strong concentration of business activity, that covers 18% of the Voivodeship area (1,200 km). The agglomeration is inhabited by about 60% of the region's population. The average population density here is over 1,900 people/km. It is also a large transport junction, both in terms of location and the transport work carried out. Not only does it serve the Voivodeship, but it is also an important element of the European transport networks.
The agglomeration is situated at the crossroads of two transport routes of the European significance. The predominant direction in the agglomeration is the east-west direction. It is in this direction that the A4 motorway run and the Katowice-Gliwice Highway Through Route is begin build. In Katowice, the total traffic flows in this direction may soon reach 150 thousand vehicles per 24 hours. Both routes will function differently in the agglomeration transport system. The motorway's basic function is servicing the long-distance traffic, including the transit. The Highway Through Route will mainly serve the local traffic and thus, in the similar distance, it will have 26 junctions, whereas the motorway has 6 junctions.
The Highway Through Route (DTŚ)
The Highway Through Route (DTŚ) is one of the most important road investment in the Upper-Silesian Agglomeration. DTŚ is going to run from Katowice, through Chorzów, Świętochłowice, Ruda Śląska, Zabrze to Gliwice.
The DTŚ is an inter-town route, in other words, "a municipal motorway". The route is one of the basic parts of implementing the agglomeration's integrated, collective transport system and is going to provide the possibility of commencing a proper traffic organisation and control in the agglomeration's junction zone. Also, it will relieve the side, district and town-centre streets, etc. from the traffic directly connected with them, especially concerning the medium and heavy traffic. Additionally, it will be the basic route enabling the connection between the cities in the individual transport. According to the calculations made by the DTŚ creators, the route's completion will result in shortening the way from Katowice to Gliwice by 26%, shortening the journey time by 76%, decreasing fuel consumption by 47%, decreasing the number of accidents by 82%, the operational costs drop by 39% and the air pollution reduction by over 50%.
In the Voivodeship, about 50% of domestic rail transports are realised. The railway junction in Tarnowskie Góry, one of the biggest in Europe, is of considerable significance. It is the Central Coal Trunk Line that enables fast transport between Bielsko, Katowice and Warsaw, as well as the Port Trunk Line between Katowice and Gdynia, where most goods from the Voivodeship are transported.
Owing to the Central Coal Trunk Line, the journey by Intercity train between Katowice and Warsaw takes as little as 2 hrs and 40 min. The travelling speed and high frequency of the Katowice-Warsaw-Katowice trains is a great facility for business people, whose frequent business trips to the capital are a must.
The length of railway network within the Voivodeship is as follows:
- PKP normal rail track lines - 1,373 km
- transmission lines - 330 km
It is also noteworthy that it is in the Voivodeship - in Sławków - that the so-called Metallurgic-Sulphur Line ends, joining Poland with the East. Using the access to the normal track and he wide track railway as well as the location (70 km from the southern, 280 km from the eastern and 400 km from the western border as well as he vicinity of the airport in Katowice and Krakow), building the International Logistic Centre is planned in Sławków. The project assumes to the transformation of the existing terminal, dealing mostly with reloading iron ores and liquid fuels, into a modern logistic centre for the container goods traffic between Europe and Asia. Currently, the majority of goods in this direction is transported by sea and their transportation time from the Asian harbours to the European ones takes about 30 days. The improvement of the railway connection flow capacity will allow for shortening the goods transportation time almost twice while maintaining the same or even lower costs.
The Voivodeship's transport attractiveness is even higher due to the International Airport in Pyrzowice and the vicinity of the of two international airports: in Balice (nr. Krakow) and in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic.
When compared to other airports in Poland, The Katowice International Airport differentiates for its lowest number of 'no flights' days owing to the exceptionally convenient weather conditions that prevail here.
The "Katowice: IAP has direct international connections with, among others, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf and via these airports practically with the whole world. The permanent growth in the number of connection is observed, including with such cities as Dortmund, Dublin, Cologne, London, Milan, Paris and Rome. The airport in Katowice is characteristic of fast growth of passenger traffic.
Air traffic at the Katowice International Airport - passangers [T]
The passenger traffic characteristics (segmentation) proves the prevalence of the business traffic. About 80% of the passengers arriving at and departing from the "Katowice" IAP are business travellers. However, it is the charter flights, organised for the tourists from the airport's service area that ought to be considered as the segment being the potential source of the private traffic growth at the Airport.
Air traffic at the Katowice International Airport - charters [T]
Since 2002, the "Katowice" International Airport has been the first biggest freight transport regional airport in Poland.
For the last 11 years, it has been observed that the weight reloaded at the Airport has increased over ten times (from 50 tons in 1994 to 5,038 tons in 2004). In the three quarters of 2005, the freight transport reached 4,045 tons.
Udział portów lotniczych w przewozach cargo w 2004 r.
The development of the freight transport at the KATOWICE IAP is accompanied by the growth in the offer for hiring office and warehouse surface. The Cargo III Terminal, opened in 2004, covers the warehouse area of 5,800 sq. m., and,100 sq. of the office surface. The office surface is hired, among others, by the Customs House and Border Guards, shipping companies and courier companies, such as DHL, TNT, UPS, GTLLOT,Cargo Express and C. Hartwig.
The "Katowice" IAP location, in the vicinity of the main European transport routes crossroads, is one of the features creating not only the domestic, but also the international significance of the Airport.
The "Katowice" IAP has definitely better natural conditions that the airport in Krakow - not only weather wise (which allows to accept the flights originally directed to other ports, especially to Warsaw and Krakow), but also terrain wise. The latter (expressed in the form of accessible and inexpensive terrain for the airport and economic zone's development associated with the Airport operation) allow for cheaper and faster Airport development.
For the last few years, a significant progress has been observed in the Śląskie Voivodeship in the scope of fixed-line and cellular telecommunication development. In 2003, the number of the fixed-line telephone subscribers reached the level of almost 1,5 million, which means that there are 316.8 phones per 1,000 inhabitants (this index is 322.2 in the rest of Poland). The large investment projects executed in the telecommunication field resulted in the fact that the considerable part of telephone networks is managed by big multinationals. Apart from the classic teleinformation services available in the Voivodeship, there are also the services of the so-called ‘smart network', digital network, etc.
The development of the up-to-date teleinformation technologies is accompanied by the fast growth of the umber of the internet users. The region is inhabited by 11% of all Poland's Internet users. The Śląskie Voivodeship is one of the national leaders in terms of the boroughs having their own Internet domains. In 2003, (when compared to 2001) this index grew by 15 per cent and reached 81%, which placed the region on 3 position in the country.
The municipal management is an important aspect of the activities aiming at improving the population life standard. In 2003, the water supply system network density in the Śląskie Voivodeship was 142.8 km/100 sq. km and was almost twice that higher than the country's average (74.3 km/100 sq. km). The sewage system density in the region (57.4 km/100 sq. km) exceeds the national index by 2.6 times. In terms of the water supply and sewage system density, the Voivodeship in the leader in Poland. The gas system density index (112.6 km/100 km) is almost 3.5 times higher than in the rest of the country and places the Voivodeship on the second position. As of he end of 2003, there were 214 operating municipal sewage treatment plants (with the capacity of 974,412 m3/24 hrs), which was 7.8% of the plants of that type in Poland.
All the region's towns are equipped with the water supply and sewage system network, 62 - in the gas network and 66 are serviced by the sewage treatment plants.
In the Śląskie Voivodeship, there are 46 border-crossing points: 32 with the Czech Republic (including 29 road ones, of which 6 serve the freight traffic and 3 rail ones) and 14 with the Slovak Republic (including 13 road ones, of which 4 service the freight traffic and 1 rail one) as well as one at the "Katowice" International Airport.