Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56

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Contemporary trends in the Polish transport system

Zbigniew Taylor

Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56, pp. 179-194


This paper presents the transport system as a composite object whose components are transport modes together with relationships between them and other branches of the national economy. The medium that ties them together to make a system is traffic. Stripped to its essence, the main components of the system are transport modes. As in any kind of system, the behaviour of one component has some effect on, or interaction with, other components. The transport system should contribute to national economic growth by providing an efficient service to all sections of industry, agriculture and services, and by ensuring the maintenance of a reasonable level of personal mobility through public passenger facilities.The Polish transport system is marked by some specific features which will be shown at the national level in the broad context of socio-economic phenomena. More specifically, the objectives of the paper are (1) to present the changes in the volume and structure of freight and passenger traffic; (2) to explore the dynamics of transport absorptiveness in the national economy; and (3) to explain the reasons behind huge freight traffic and transport absorptiveness.Amongst all transport modes only some are well known and understood to a certain degree. For example, very little is known about road transport, dispersed in tens of thousands of firms and enterprises subordinated to many departments, organizations and central offices. What is more only part of this mode is obligatorily reported in statistics. There are no data for road freight traffic in terms of commodities carried. Thus, in some cases, we have to use estimates. Fortunately, the scope of this paper does not cover detailed characteristics of various modes of transport, unless they illustrate more general phenomena and processes.



Zbigniew Taylor [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, Poland