The Yorkshire Post reported this month that, as negotiations continue, John Dodwell, from the Commercial Boat Operators’ Association, pointed out the commercial advantages of using the Aire and Calder Navigation.
Further down, at Pollington, there are concrete-making factories which use ash, along with sand and other aggregates. The ash – which could be put on a conveyor belt going under the M62 to get to the Aire and Calder Navigation – could also travel by barge to Leeds and Goole and towards Wakefield, Rotherham and Gainsborough.
Mr Dodwell has written to planners at North Yorkshire County Council, raising questions over the planning application.
“The developers suggest that using the road is the only viable option. I think the planners should ask the developers to go back and do the costings of the various options. The developers also need to provide the evidence to show why they can’t use clean green transport”.
He added: “Even if lorry engines improve and were to be wholly electric-based, there would still be dangerous particulates from brake pads, tyre wear and road surface wear. None of these arise from using barges”.
Mr Dodwell added that just one 500 tonne barge could take 22 27-tonne HGVs off the road and dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Congestion on local roads will not be reduced by electric lorries – only by using barges.