Presented by the West Midlands Combined Authority: December 2016
One of the issues studied by a Forum Working Group: Modal Shift – to ensure that plans are delivered to maximise the use of rail and waterways.
Supporting a Greater Use of Water Freight
The West Midlands Freight Canal Study highlighted some potential for the movements of low value, time unrestricted freight movements such as domestic waste or construction aggregates on local canals.
The study identified 49 sites in Birmingham and 27 sites in Coventry that offered potential for wharf locations, although the majority were not protected for freight related activity in land use plans.
Whilst recognising that the practicalities and market demand will differ for different centres, the metropolitan area is advocating the following multi stepped approach to encouraging greater use of water borne freight movements:
Step One: Greater protection of wharf sites in Local Plans. By protecting potential sites against other development, noticeably residential, there is certainty for interested companies to invest in water freight development
Step Two: Identification of canal/ lock infrastructure enhancements. Working with the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) to identify potential schemes and new funding to invest in canal infrastructure to facilitate greater water freight use.
Step Three: Use of the planning system to identify any potential use of water freight in the movement of building/ construction aggregates and materials for new developments in the proximity of canals;
Step Four: work with freight operators to access national or international funding sources and grants which would facilitate greater water freight use in meeting the above.