6. 2018, Transport for the North’s Draft Strategic Transport Plan: CBOA response


CBOA Response (emphasis added)

16 April 2018

Dear Sirs,

The Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA) represents water freight carriage by barge on the UK’s inland and estuarial waterways and is accepted by the Government as the representative industry body. The CBOA is the prime trade organization involved in sustaining and promoting freight carriage on our waterways for economic and environmental reasons.

In several places the draft Strategic Transport Plan mentions the advantages and benefits of multi-modal transport for freight and modal shift to other than road means, which CBOA fully agrees with. Rail is extensively mentioned in many sections, however there appears to be little mention of the use of navigable waterways, either rivers or canals for modal shift. Sizeable commercial freight waterways exist in the Cheshire/Lancashire/Greater Manchester area and also the Yorkshire/Lincolnshire area.

These waterways include the following as large sized navigations:-

The Aire and Calder Navigation linking Leeds and Wakefield to Goole on the River Ouse, Hull and Immingham (600 tonne size);
The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation linking Sheffield, Rotherham, Mexborough and Doncaster to Goole is a Euro II sized waterway capable of handling 650-700 tonne barge capacity;
The River Ouse linking Goole to Barlby/Selby/York (3000 tonnes to Howden Dyke, 1000 tonnes to Selby, 400 tonnes to York);
The River Trent from Newark and Nottingham to the Humber (400 tonnes from Nottingham; 3000 tonnes below Keadby;
The Manchester Ship Canal linking the Port of Liverpool via the Mersey to Warrington, Irlam, Trafford Park and Salford (10,000 tonnes);
The Weaver Navigation, linking the Manchester Ship Canal to the industrial estates around Runcorn and to Northwich (600 tonnes).

The importance of the waterways linking to Goole and thence to the Humber estuary, and secondly the Manchester Ship Canal linking the Port of Liverpool to Manchester cannot be over stated. The Humber estuary supports the ports of Hull and Immingham. These ports provide access and act as a gateway to the ports in the Baltic countries, Scandinavia and northern Europe. Significant amounts of freight are currently handled by the UK’s southern ports, which then travels overland to the north which is inefficient in transport terms and also energy consumptive. Greater use of the northern ports is highly desirable for this freight to be landed closer its destination. Removing both lorry miles and also rail miles for these freight movements is very desirable for emissions reduction and energy consumption reduction. Forward planning and investment is needed to expand the capabilities of these ports.

Many of these waterways owned and managed by the Canal and River Trust are amply described by the Trust which is also submitting a response to your consultation, so I will not re-iterate the detail here but will refer to them similarly. In addition to the Trust’s waterways, the Manchester Ship Canal and Bridgwater Canal in the North West are owned and managed by other navigation authorities. The Manchester Ship Canal is also vitally important and needs to be included in the issue of how water freight should be fully included and integrated together with the other transport means. CBOA fully supports the submission by the Canal and River Trust about use of waterways for freight.

In Leeds, several wharves have protected status. These wharves are available for use and consideration should be given as to how they may be deployed for freight transport to reduce the dependence on road transport and its associated drawbacks.

Other smaller waterways exist in all areas, which may also be suitable for smaller cargoes and niche market applications including opportunities for ‘last mile’ delivery within city areas – please see the later section on this.

Intermodal interchange

The section ‘Moving goods’ on page 34 and sub-sections of the draft Strategic Transport Plan mentions investment needed in Liverpoool2 and the Humber Ports. Rail is mentioned for freight interchange; however there is little or no mention of waterways in this section to destinations or originations inland, as mentioned herein above where the waterways pass through. CBOA would request that waterways are included for greater consideration with modal interchange. This may mean construction of additional wharves or road/rail interchange points. Of course the waterways do not reach all destinations or originations, but with careful planning there is no reason why a significant amount of cargo to these locations cannot be accommodated by water. Another benefit is that railways are not stretched beyond capacity around critical nodes such as the ports.

Potential Cargoes
As well as the bulk cargoes that can be carried, such as aggregates, demolition waste associated with new developments, including that associated with major infrastructure projects such as HS2, biomass/coal, steel, timber etc., other potential and current cargoes include oil products and other bulk liquids, recyclables, refuse derived fuels, steel, timber, palletised goods, grain and container goods.

Abnormal Indivisible Loads
Waterways are excellent for the transport of abnormal indivisible loads (AILs), which with further investment in infrastructure and facilities, could be significantly increased. An AIL waterway map can be seen at http://www.cboa.org.uk/downloads/091116-inland-waterway-freight-rutes-abnormal-indiviiable-loads.pdf with a description at http://www.cboa.org.uk/inland-waterway-freight-routes.html

The road disruption for a large AILS movement is highly undesirable – so much better to transport the items by water where little or no disruption is caused.

A good example of this is with power station sub-assemblies, where the power station is often beside a navigable waterway, such as at Ferrybridge near Knottingley on the Aire and Calder Navigation. Large 300 tonne transformers were successfully taken by barge on the River Trent to Staythorpe power station near Newark-on-Trent two or three years ago, having arrived by ship at a Humber port, and have also been taken from the Humber up the River Ouse to Drax.

This requires forward planning, with the planning consent being conditional upon using water transport where this is feasible for water side premises.

‘Last Mile’ delivery and waterborne warehousing
Consolidation centres for local delivery of light cargoes or goods are mentioned on page 83 in the Innovation section of the draft Strategic Transport Plan; these can also be waterside, utilising water transport to deliver to them, thus avoiding the increasing use of the urban road network and avoiding the associated additional congestion. This scheme has already been implemented with success in Utrecht, Netherlands for delivery of beer barrels/cases and other goods. See http://www.bestfact.net/zero-emission-beer-boat-in-utrecht/ and also http://civitas.eu/measure/city-distribution-boat. Plans are also in hand to implement a similar scheme in Paris.

‘Last mile’ delivery is also mentioned on page 35 under ‘Supporting the international connectivity of the North’ and also on page 55. It can be seen that ‘last mile’ waterways delivery assists and complements the road transport system in reducing the congestion in critical high usage road routes within inner city areas. We would wish to see inclusion of ‘last mile’ water transport in these sections.

Emissions reduction with modal shift of freight to waterways
Reduction of carbon and NOX emissions is regarded as “imperative” in the draft Strategic Transport Plan on page 35 in the section Moving Goods.
Many reports have been provided showing that water transport is always given as providing a major reduction of emissions when compared to road, and also a significant reduction when compared to rail.

A European Union 2001 report showed that one kilogram of fuel over one kilometre could move:

. 50 tonnes by road
· 97 tonnes by rail
· 127 tonnes by water

In a 2004 report, Royal Haskoning, the international environment consultants, reviewed energy use. In terms of energy used per tonne-kilometre (tonnage carried multiplied by distance travelled), they reported that

. water transport uses 0.2MJ;

· rail transport used 0.4MJ;
· road transport used 0.8MJ.

In March 2006 Sea and Water, the Department for Transport (DfT) sponsored but industry led group, reported that;

. Moving freight by water reduced the amount of carbon put in the atmosphere by about 80%;
· Moving freight by water reduced the amount of nitrogen oxide put into the atmosphere by about 35%;
· Transport (excluding aviation) caused about 25% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions with road accounting for 22%; of this 40% come from lorries and buses.
· Transport emissions contribute towards poor air quality. The Department of Health estimated that between 12,000 and 24,000 deaths each year arose from poor air quality.

In 2011 the DEFRA consultation paper about transferring BW to CRT stated that “Freight transport by water can be cheaper than transport by road as moving goods by water can be more fuel efficient, leading to CO2 emissions that can be one-quarter the level of road transport”, quoting the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change.

For more information a case study for emissions reduction with the benefits of water transport can be seen in a report produced by ASD Metal Services at http://cboa.org.uk/downloads/environmental_impact_report.pdf . It compares barge to lorry transport when carrying steel from Scunthorpe to Stourton, Leeds. In conclusion ASD’s expectation was that over a year there would be a 45% reduction in fuel used with the consequent reduction in emissions.

Planning for future growth
This section in the draft Strategic Transport Plan should also include waterways for freight in terms of provision of wharves and modal interchange points with road and possibly also rail where this can be seen to assist with the overall design of the future transport plan freight routing.

It may also be good forward planning to examine whether waterway expansion programmes would be beneficial. It is estimated that the cost of waterway construction could be significantly less than either road or rail. Would a trans-Pennine route linking the ports be beneficial?

Aire & Calder Navigation improvement works were estimated in c 2003 at (only) £10 m. This would entail modest widening of parts of two locks, and the raising of five bridges to allow carriage of containers in Euro II size craft of up to 700 tonne capacity. Since then whilst costs have generally gone up, bridge raising costs have come down as more experience is learned from similar rail work.

Also as the track is already there, no need for prolonged planning enquiries and so a “quick win” is possible.

Major Waterways Map
A map showing the navigable waterways is on the last page. The larger waterways mentioned above are shaded in blue.

I trust that you be able to utilise CBOA’s information above in the review of the draft Strategic Transport Plan. If you need any further information I would be pleased to assist.


Yours faithfully,

Richard Horne.
Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA)

Republished from: http://www.cboa.org.uk/news.html