Tuesday, January 4, 2022

New Chance to Have a Say on Freight and Logistics in the North of Great Britain

Consultation and Webinar to Secure Strategic Supply Chain Aims
Shipping News Feature

UK – Transport for the North (TfN) has developed an new draft strategy which it has put out for public consultation today. The consultation will close on 31 January 2022 and spans a range of issues which require close examination by interested parties.

The consultation on ‘Freight & Logistics Strategy for the North of England’ can be viewed HERE and stresses the vital importance of the industry in the North of England, with more than 33% of goods entering through the region’s ports and 25% of British freight starting or ending in the North.

TfN points out that in the region, the sector faces a number of challenges and constraints, such as a shortage of warehouse capacity (especially rail connected warehousing), lack of reliable and efficient east-west connectivity across the Pennines, and a disproportionate reliance on ports in the South of England.

Proposed efficiencies are at the heart of the strategy, both geographical and environmental, showcasing the importance of the efficient movement of goods, particularly for economic recovery and growth, and sets out the urgent need to take action to decarbonise the freight and logistics sector. It looks at the demand for a multimodal freight network covering road, rail and water plus the potential for ports and Freeports, and sets out a delivery plan and recommendations. The three key objectives underpinning the strategy are:

  • The importance of accelerating delivery of the TfN Investment Programme interventions to support the North's economy
  • The need to accelerate the move to zero carbon
  • The strategic policy positions needed to develop to deliver the strategy effectively

The draft strategy reflects the objectives of TfN’s Transport Decarbonisation Strategy, firstly in achieving near-zero emissions from our surface transport network by 2045, and secondly in optimising the social and economic benefits from clean growth opportunities in the North. Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, commented:

“The freight and logistics sector is vital in helping us all get the things we need to go about our daily lives. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the EU brought this into sharp focus, so now is the perfect time for the North of England to set out a strategy on how we can best support and enable the movement of goods around our region.

“Our Freight & Logistics Strategy, which covers road, rail and waterway freight, reveals the data that drives the sector; identifies the options for decarbonising freight; and sets out the importance of the sector to enabling ambitious growth for businesses.

“We urge everyone to get involved in the consultation, not just those who work in the sector, but members of the general public and business community too. Getting goods to our homes and workplaces efficiently, reliably and in a sustainable way is only going to get more important in the coming years, so it’s essential we hear from many voices now to help set us on the right journey for our future needs.”

The consultation is supported by a #TfNTalks webinar to be held on Wednesday 12 January, from 12pm to 1pm. This will be chaired by Nancy Fielder, Editor of The Star, and the panellists will be Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chair of Network Rail, Peter Kennan, TfN Board Member for South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Maggie Simpson OBE, Director General of the Rail Freight Group and Lucy Hudson, TfN’s Principal Policy Officer Freight and Logistics.

Free registration can be made using THIS LINK.