Memorandum by Wynns Consultants (P 13)
We write in reference to the above and would
like to offer evidence for consideration by the Committee, in
particular, with regard to the major ports in England and Wales
specifically use of the hinterland and their land transport links
and such other policies should be pursued to benefit such ports.
Wynns Limited are Independent Transport Consultants
specialising in the movement of Abnormal Indivisible Loads. Contracted
to the majority of CEGB successor companies, Wynns carry out planning
work for AIL movements with emphasis on environmental and strategic
considerations to allow such load movements (typically around
300 tonnes gross) to be managed safely, within appropriate timescales,
at reasonable costs and with consideration to the environment.
1.1.1 The movement of Abnormal Indivisible
Loads (AIL's) over certain dimensions and weights above 150 tonnes
gross are subject to agreement and the approval of the Secretary
of State. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the
Regions (DETR) regulate movements and have adopted a policy whereby
road movements will only be considered where water transport has
been considered not to be feasible.
1.1.2 Implementation of such policy requires
numbers of AIL movements through both UK ports and, in the hinterland,
via river and canal systems.
1.1.3 Based upon our experience in discharging
our role as planner of AIL movements we wish to draw attention
to the following:
1.2.1 Current Government policy predominantly
directs AIL movements to ship through the nearest suitable port,
irrespective of whether use of the port is commercially advantageous
in terms of the port's charging structure, availability of quays
or other facilities.
1.2.2 Although applauding Government policy
to minimise road congestion by use of ports, canals or waterways,
industry has little or no redress against owners or operators
of such facilities who disadvantage AIL movements through either
monopoly charging, the delaying of the use by attendance to their
own commercial considerations or overly onerous contract conditions.
1.3.1 Shipping of AIL's often necessitates
access through smaller fishing and pleasure boat orientated ports
as well as larger commercial ports. Over recent years, certain
ports have been turned over entirely to pleasure craft or closed
altogether, eg Preston Docks, North Shields and Cardiff.
1.3.2 Inland ports and wharves are disappearing
generally through regeneration toward pleasure and housing schemes,
eg Salford Quays.
1.3.3 Since Government policy on use of
water is designed to maximise water and reduce road usage, how
do Government reconcile such a laudable policy with such losses
preventing use or allow for such facilities to be lost?
1.4.1 In 1970, the National Ports Council
issued their final report detailing 13 recommendations, the majority
of which remain valid today.
1.4.2 Over 30 years later, few of the recommendations
have been progressed and many of the key problem issues have deteriorated.
1.4.3 There appears to have been no mechanism
to measure and review progress of the report.
1.4.4 The present Government would appear
committed to at least discussing integrated transport and very
much to their credit are making progress through the freight facilities
grant (FFG) process.
1.4.5 In consideration of these same issues
being as much, if not more relevant than 30 years ago, there still
appears to be a lack of a co-ordinated approach to the integration
of industry and infrastructure with regard to the transportation
of large plant.
T H S West
Research and Political Affairs Department
19 January 2001