Birch Coppice, the 400-acre business park alongside J10 of the M42, will be the site for the new Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT). The terminal will act as an inland rail head handling incoming and outgoing containerised freight and the distribution of goods transported by rail from UK ports such as Southampton.
Construction work on the site, which will include 1.24 miles of railway sidings, has already started.
Commenting on BIFT, Mike O’Brien, North Warwickshire MP and minister of state for energy and e-commerce, says: “The opening of a new freight terminal will be great news for North Warwickshire. We have seen hundreds of extra jobs created at Hams Hall, Atherstone and also Birch Coppice in recent years. In 1992 unemployment was over 11% in our area, but has now fallen to below 2%.”
The multimillion pound investment by Roadways Container Logistics (RCL) is necessary due to a requirement for a dedicated intermodal container rail freight facility which could not be accommodated on the company’s existing site.
Rapid growth in the import of containerised goods into Britain – especially from Asia and China – has driven the need for RCL to invest in the centrally located Birch Coppice site. About 4.5 million containers were handled through British ports in 2003.
Graeme Clarke, RCL managing director, comments: “We chose IM Properties’ Birch Coppice development for our Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal as it is rail connected and ideally located adjacent to J10 of the M42. The whole Midlands area is one of the fastest growing distribution regions in the country serving imports from all over the world and this development will provide the infrastructure vital to support this area’s continued success in the coming years.”
Regular users of the RCL freight terminal and road distribution services will include major deep sea container shipping companies such as P&O Nedlloyd. The terminal will also be available to local users who have an occasional need to receive or transport containerised goods to and from the region.
The new RCL freight terminal will increase the number of trains a day initially to six, although the rail freight