1 October 2019
Ports across England have been invited to bid for a share of £10 million, as part of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, to help deliver upgrades which will enhance capacity and maintain trade flows after Brexit.
On top of this, the Government is providing £5 million to four key Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) — made up of emergency responders, councils and other public services — in areas with key freight ports. This will help them build infrastructure improvements to minimise any potential traffic disruption at the borders.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said that a further £15 million will go towards longer-term projects to boost road and rail links to ports and ensure more freight can get where it needs to be faster.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) recently announced a separate £9 million scheme for local councils and LRFs to support their overall planning (see Cash for councils to get ports Brexit-ready).
The PIRC competition will be open until 6 September, after which successful bidders will be given up to £1 million each to deliver infrastructure improvements. For example, this may include providing more lorry parking and container storage space or developing traffic systems to ensure the free flow of cars and trucks.
The £5 million for key LRFs is targeted specifically at delivering infrastructure improvements to manage road traffic around maritime ports with important trade routes with the EU.
Commenting, Road Haulage Association (RHA) Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “Of course we welcome the Government’s commitment to making ports Brexit ready but, as with all infrastructure improvements, they take time and that is a commodity that we do not have.”
He pointed out that there is still a lack of clarity as regards the paperwork and processes needed to maintain free-flowing traffic.