The ports of Tilbury and Bilbao have been given a £5.75m EU grant to take trucks off the roads by developing short sea services between the UK and Spain.
The Motorways of the Sea grant is for the £25.2m IBUK – Intermodal Corridor project. The aim is to shift 140 million miles of road traffic onto short sea services over 15 years.
At Tilbury the grant will allow container terminal redevelopment including new cranes, straddle carriers, a new bespoke IT system and surfacing work.
In Bilbao the funding will be used for a rail head expansion connecting an inland rail terminal, 75 miles from the port, allowing the transfer of cargo to the port, and investment in new IT systems.
Perry Glading, chief operating officer of Forth Ports which owns Tilbury, said: “This substantial award will see further development of our short sea container operations within London Container Terminal over the next two years as well as achieving a modal shift from road to sea and improving overall efficiencies in the supply chains between the two countries.”
The project must be completed by the end 2014 to qualify for the full funding.