Freight News, Sea

Bristol port plan should go to front of the queue, says property expert

[ July 16, 2012   //   ]

Head of commercial property specialists Colliers International’s Bristol office, Tim Davies, has called for the port of Avonmouth’s long awaited deep sea container terminal to be pushed to the front of the queue of strategic transport initiatives in the South West.

The latest Colliers International report on Global Linkages forecasts continued growth in container shipping at European ports. However, other major transport schemes are proliferating in the area including the Great Western mainline electrification, the Greater Bristol Metro scheme, the Bus Rapid Transit schemes and Bristol Airport expansion, all of them “jostling for prominence with little or no consideration given to the potential impact on competing schemes.

However, the £600m scheme at Avonmouth would have the greatest long term significance as it could play a pivotal role in future freight  transport requirements.

Tim Davies believes Avonmouth has greater longer term potential than Southampton,  Felixstowe and London Gateway because of its superior transport links and  the greater availability  of warehousing and logistics infrastructure.

He said: “Once the new terminal is built, Avonmouth has the potential to become one of the largest and busiest ports in Europe and would enable Bristol to welcome some of the world’s biggest container ships. The terminal is closer to more inland container destinations than any other deep water dock which will mean savings for the rail and road networks.

The scheme, which would allow Bristol to handle some of the largest containerships afloat, has been approved by the Secretary of State but work has not progressed past the initial testing stage as the Port of Bristol waits for global economic conditions to improve. Once construction starts the terminal will be ready in about three years.