British Waterways is to develop an inland port at Stourton, Leeds, for use by barges delivering non-time sensitive freight to the area. The company has bought eight acres of canal-side land at Stourton as part of plans to encourage more freight to be carried via inland waterways rather than roads.
Canal transport is currently more popular for leisure users but John Ruddick, of British Waterways, says: “Canal usage for freight is an ideal method of transport for non-time sensitive goods as the canals are much under-used and can relieve the overcrowded motorways of some of the heavy traffic. We are actively progressing this project now we have a location and are working up proposals of how we could develop our new site at Stourton as an inland port.”
He continues: “The site will be used initially for open storage and then in the long-term it will be developed into a formal port.”
It is thought that the port, once developed, will be ideal for moving bulk products and containerised goods to Leeds from the Humber estuary.
l The Short Sea and Waterways Forum (SSWF) has been set up by the Government to act as a central coordinating point for water freight interests in the UK. Tasks of the SSWF include raising awareness of the advantages of water freight as a transport mode as well as providing a direct line of communication between industry and the Government.