Freight News, Sea

Should ports get in the zone?

[ November 29, 2016   //   ]

The British Ports Association suggested that a system of ‘zoning’ might boost the industry when they met ports minister, John Hayes, on 28 November.
BPA chairman Rodney Lunn and director Richard Ballantyne said zoning could protect and encourage further port development by speeding up consents processes and limiting the impact of environmental designations.
Richard Ballantyne added: “We envisage a system whereby port areas and surrounding clusters might be classified as ‘special port zones’ with fast tracked planning and licensing systems. Such zones could safeguard against restrictive environmental designations, which can often limit port growth and development.”
They also told the minister that, post Brexit, possible increased frontier and customs activities at ports might lead to disruption of cargo flows, which might make UK ports less competitive and add costs to the freight industry.
The BPA is keen to see increased government investment in national infrastructure, particularly roads to ports.
Richard Ballantyne said: “In the run up to Brexit this is a crucial time for the UK ports industry and we are grateful for the attention which the Minister and his officials have shown towards the sector. It is vital that government activity at our borders does not disrupt important gateways for freight and passenger routes. We would welcome any initiatives the Government has to streamline such processes. We would also encourage the Government to consider how transport infrastructure investments can help to connect ports to our national road and rail networks.”