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Freight Inland Waterways maps to help business go green

Freight Inland Waterways maps to help business go green

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (106) issued by The Government News Network on 3 July 2008

A report and supporting set of maps highlighting the key inland waterways suitable for freight have been published by the Department for Transport today.

The documents, published under the title The Key Inland Waterways for Freight, highlight 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 linked to our major estuaries.

Notes to Editors

1. The maps and the associated report are available on the DfT website at

2. Additional support for inland water freight is provided by the Department for Transport, the Scottish Executive, and the Welsh Assembly Government through the Freight Facilities Grant scheme. The scheme is available to support companies seeking to invest in fixed equipment and facilities to permit the use of water freight as an alternative to road freight. More information is available at

3. Freight services are operated by the private sector according to the needs and requirements of their customers.

4. Defra sponsors the two largest inland navigation authorities - British Waterways and the Environment Agency who between them manage some 2,800 miles of canals and non-tidal navigable rivers across the country. There is a number of navigation and other bodies controlling tidal rivers and estuaries, for example, the tidal Thames is controlled by the Port of London Authority.

5. Defra is the lead department for the Inter-Departmental Working Group for inland waterways. The Department for Transport actively participates with the Inter-Departmental Working Group.

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