By The Maritime Executive 2019-09-26 19:54:42
16 ports across England will receive a share of a multi-million-pound funding pot to help their preparations for Brexit on October 31.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the Department for Transport (DfT) £10 million Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, which offers ports up to £1 million each to deliver important infrastructure upgrades. This could include creating more space for heavy vehicle parking and container storage as well as improving access for vehicles to help keep traffic and trade flowing smoothly across the border.
The successful ports are Felixstowe, Harwich, Southampton, Portsmouth International, Plymouth, Poole, Newhaven, Immingham, Hull, Teesport, Heysham, Liverpool, Bristol, Sheerness, London Gateway and Dover.
The fund comes as part of a £30 million government scheme, announced last month, to bolster ports across England and ensure they continue to operate efficiently post-Brexit.
Another £5 million will be provided to Local Resilience Forums (LRF) – partnerships made up of representatives from local public services, including the emergency services - in areas with key freight ports to help them build infrastructure improvements and ensure traffic continues to flow smoothly.
A further £15 million will go towards the development of longer-term projects to boost road and rail links to ports. This includes a proposal to enhance the Trans-Pennine gauge, allowing for the transportation of freight using multiple types of transport, which will connect East Coast ports with key markets in Greater Manchester and the wider North West. Also included is development work for upgrading road access to Dover, Felixstowe and Southampton ports.
The £30 million funding comes as part of a £2.1 billion government investment to step-up the UK’s preparations for leaving the EU.
British Ports welcomes funding but suggests more resources will be needed post Brexit in a no deal scenario. Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne said: “ We welcome the funding but note that some English ports have missed out as well as those in other parts of the U.K. Also we have asked the Government for funding for U.K. Border Force infrastructure, facilities and personnel for new customs checks, preferentially away from the border, at a range of port routes and hope this might follow as well as a replacement schemes such as the E.U.’s TEN-T and fisheries funds.”
He says: “Ports are of course though only one part, albeit an important component, of the logistics chain. We rely on others – freight forwarders, hauliers, agents, Local Resilience Forums Government agencies – to also be ready for what is an unprecedented level of change potentially coming in with limited notice. Some funding has been made available to these sectors but more could be needed post Brexit, especially for hinterland roads connecting our trading gateways.”