Whitehall pushes for barges

The Department for Transport has published a map which shows how the UK's canals and rivers could be better used to carry goods across the country.

The push to get more freight off the roads and onto far more energy efficient barges is not new but this latest report will give more weight to the arguments of those seeking to sway the nay-sayers.

The document, Key Inland Waterways for Freight, highlights those areas where the UK’s existing network of inland waterways has the greatest potential for freight services and can fit with the needs of modern freight businesses.

Transport Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick said: “The role of inland waterways in moving freight is already significant, primarily in the moving of construction material, agricultural products, waste and liquid bulks. We would like to see the market build on this success so that we can reduce the environmental impact of moving goods.

“In response to feedback from the market we have produced this report and supporting maps so that operators and their customers have a greater appreciation of the areas where inland waterways may help them most.

“Our aim is to promote the use of our waterways for freight transport where they provide a viable alternative to road freight. The benefit of this is reduced carbon emissions and congestion on the road.”

The report shows that the areas of greatest potential are the larger waterways and river navigations.

Sam Bond

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