Freight News, Rail, Sea

Lack of freight on transpennine rail route is short-sighted, says PD Ports

[ January 3, 2019   //   ]

The reported decision to upgrade the 76-mile Trans-Pennine route between Leeds and Manchester at a cost of £3b without any provision for freight is deeply troubling for businesses in the North, says PD Ports, owner and operator of the ports of Tees and Hartlepool.
It says that after more than two years of assurances from the Department for Transport that rail freight was to be an integral part of the scheme, where has been “a last-minute reversal”.
Teesport experienced more growth in volume than any other UK port in and in November 2014, opened a £3m+ intermodal rail terminal.
It says that there is “a significant demand” for east to rail freight. However, “without a viable alternative route for rail freight with the necessary capacity and gauge, the growth we are experiencing will be limited and at risk of reducing due to transport restrictions.”
Failing to invest in additional rail freight capacity on the Trans-Pennine route could seriously damage the economic aims of the Northern Powerhouse and would leave an over reliance on the heavily congested M62, particularly with the ongoing truck driver shortage.
PD Ports concludes: “We would urge that both the DfT and Chris Grayling reconsider this exclusion and make the right decision on behalf of a growing UK economy.”

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