Freight and logistics strategy for the North unveiled as 33 per cent growth eyed

Industry views on a freight and logistics strategy for the North are being sought. A sector brought into sharp focus by Brexit and Covid, opportunities to address key challenges on the road and rails ahead are being championed by Transport for the North, with an eye on a 33 per cent uplift in volumes by 2050. The crucial link in so many supply chains is a dominant force in the North, with 33 per cent of goods entering ports and 25 per cent of all freight journeys starting or ending there, despite having less than a quarter of the UK’s population.

:New rail freight service launches out of Port of Immingham taking 80 HGVs off the road a day Multi-modal warehouse capacity, and long-flagged issues of east-west cross-Pennine connectivity and disproportionate use of southern ports as a UK access point are at the core. The draft strategy showcases 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 also looks at the demand for a multi-modal freight network covering road, rail and water; the potential for ports and freeports; and sets out a delivery plan and recommendations. Martin Tugwell, chief executive of Transport for the North, said: “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.

Martin Tugwell, chief executive of Transport for the North.

“Our Freight & Logistics Strategy 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.

“It’s an important piece of work, and 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 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

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Freight and logistics strategy for the North unveiled as 33 per cent growth eyed

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By signing up for our daily newsletters, email breaking news alerts and weekly round-ups from all the major sectors, you get our journalism direct by email. To sign up, find out more and see all of our newsletters, follow the link here The virtual consultation launches now.

It remains open throughout January, and comes after initial strides were made to alleviate the HGV crisis with a new freight service linking the UK’s largest port, Immingham, with the central rail hub of Doncaster. To support the consultation TfN is hosting a #TfNTalks webinar next week to discuss the strategy. Panellists include 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 for freight and logistics.

It takes place on January 12 from noon.

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