Rent for unused lorry park costs £5.7 million

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed it has spent £5.7 million to rent Manston Airport in Kent as an emergency lorry parking area in case Operation Stack is implemented.
 
The details, which were released following a Freedom of Information request, cover the period August 2015 to December 15 2017.
 
A DfT spokeman said the Manston site (pictured above) was the only one in the area with enough space for holding l

Air freight demand soars to seven year high

Air freight demand rose by 9% in 2017, its highest level for seven years, according to the latest data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
 
According to the IATA, which represents some 280 airlines and 83% of global air traffic, global air freight demand, grew by 9.0%, more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016. Freight capacity meanwhile, rose by 3% in 2017, the slowest annual capacity growth seen since 2012.
 
Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December.

HGV safety scheme scuppering London’s clean air plans, says FTA

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is scuppering his own work to clean up the capital’s air by trying to rush through an ill-considered road safety scheme, says the Freight Transport Association.
 
FTA suggests hundreds of cleaner trucks would be on London’s roads now, if it were not for uncertainty over Transport for London’s plans for a Direct Vision Standard (DVS), which aims to improve the safety of heavy goods vehicles operating in the capital. 
 
The FTA said the length of time it is taking to finalise the qualification levels for the DVS,

National Infrastructure Commission seeks evidence for new freight study

The Government's National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has launched a call for evidence to help shape a new study into improving the infrastructure supporting the UK’s freight networks.
 
The study will look into the role that freight plays in the economy and identify how future infrastructure investments can support better freight connectivity.

Dunkirk spirit helps port break 50 million tonne barrier

Traffic at the Port of Dunkirk, France’s third largest port, rose to 50.4 million tonnes in 2017, an increase of three per cent compared with 2016, according to new data released by the port.
 
General cargoes at Dunkirk were down nine per cent overall, at 20.55 million tonnes, while the number of trucks and trailers also fell by 11 per cent with 612,000 freight units. Containers ended 2017 with a record 374,000 TEUs - an increase of 10 per cent.

TfN launches £60 billion plan to transform road and rail network in the North

The much anticipated 30-year plan from new statutory transport body Transport for the North (TfN) has been launched.
 
Calling for sustained prioritised investment in the region’s railways and roads over a 30-year period, the draft Strategic Transport Plan (STP) aims to improve the way both people and goods travel around the North of England.
 
Seven ‘corridors’ of opportunity are identified in the Plan.

Brittany Ferries to introduce new Ireland-Spain freight route

Brittany Ferries has announced a new freight route into northern Spain. Starting at the end of April, the service will link Cork and Santander, making two return-sailings a week. The move will be the first time there has ever been a ferry service linking Ireland and Spain.
 
A new ship will be chartered to serve the route to Spain, and to deliver an additional weekly return-sailing from Cork to Roscoff.

Cautious welcome for reduction in Severn tolls

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the beginning of the end for “crippling year-on-year toll increases” for users of the two Severn Bridges on the M4 and M48” as the bridges come back into public ownership and become the responsibility of the Government-owned body, Highways England.
 
As part of the process that will see the crossings revert to public ownership by the end of 2018, from today (January 8) the VAT element of the current tolls will no longer apply.

Shifting from road to rail on congested freight routes could improve air quality, new research suggests

New research suggests switching more freight to rail on four of England’s most heavily congested freight routes has the potential to reduce air pollution and improve road safety.

Rail freight growth continues

Record expansion has been confirmed in the two main rail freight markets of construction and consumer (intermodal) traffic, according to latest quarterly ORR rail freight statistics.
 
The ORR data showed construction rail freight traffic rose 1.3 per cent while consumer traffic was up 1.72 per cent in the second quarter of 2017/18. Furthermore, so-called other traffic, which includes biomass and mail, rose 23 per cent, while international freight was up 10 per cent, which suggests the latter is recovering after external pressures.