Freight News, Sea

Northern ports to speak with one voice

[ June 29, 2016   //   ]

PD Ports, Port of Tyne, ABP Ports and Peel Ports have signed an agreement to ensure their collective voice is heard by Government and to improve freight and transport links across the North.

Following regular roundtable discussions the ports brokered a ground-breaking pact announced in Liverpool on 29 June to pursue a Northern Ports Strategy, work together to create new jobs in and around ports, and boost investment in an East-West Freight Supercorridor with improvements to rail infrastructure being the ultimate priority.

PD Ports’ development director, Geoff Lippitt (pictured), said: “These are going to be challenging economic times for the whole of the UK therefore it’s important that the North and Northern ports are seen as a progressive body to drive through that change.”

A report compiled by independent thinktank IPPR Northsays that there is considerable value in the major port operators in the North joining forces to promote themselves. ‘Gateways to the Northern Powerhouse: Towards a Northern ports strategy’ identifies 15 separate recommendations for central and local Government, and local enterprise partnerships as well as Northern ports, freight and logistics companies themselves.

It recommendations include: developing local port growth strategies focusing on industry clusters like energy and logistics; a requirement for each major port, working in conjunction with its local planning authorities to develop an adopted port masterplan; Transport of the North to work with the Department for Transport and Network Rail to prioritise an East-West freight super corridor; Government to set out a clear, consistent and long-term energy strategy on which on which businesses can plan long-term future investment and to support a shift from road to rail; and establishling a Northern Ports, Freight and Logistics Association.

Director of IPPR North, Ed Cox, said: “Britain was a trading nation long before the European Union was ever thought of, and that fact will not change despite the Brexit vote. We need a global North now like never before.

“The nature of any new European trade agreement will be vital, but the measures set out in our new Northern Ports Strategy provide a framework upon which any new deal must be based.

“To continue to punch above their weight, we need to see government investment to back that of the ports. With over £1billion invested in the ports themselves, government must now put in its £100m to create an East-West Freight Supercorridor and end the costly and inefficient movement of lorries up and down the country.”

Geoff Lippitt resized

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