lorry journeys in the next two years following the purchase of a
Thames-going vessel officially named by shipping minister Glenda
owners, JJ Prior (Transport) Ltd of Colchester, with the help of a
freight facilities grant. It will enable the company to continue
transporting sand from Essex to wharves on the Thames.
Freight facilities grants are designed to encourage companies to take
heavy lorries off roads by helping them to invest in rail or inland
waterway freight facilities.
Speaking at the naming ceremony in Greenwich, Ms Jackson said:
'It is one of our primary objectives to encourage the use
of alternative forms of transport to ease congestion on the road
network and to protect the local environment. However, we are only
too aware of the higher costs that can be associated with inland
waterways freight transport.
'Freight facilities grants help to alleviate these costs by tipping the balance in favour of water.
'The grant makes inland waterway transport more attractive
to industry, enabling it to compete more effectively with road
transport and allows businesses to choose alternatives to
transporting freight by road.
'We are keen to encourage the type of environment in which
a sustainable mode of transport like shipping can flourish. Indeed,
we want shipping to play a full part in an integrated transport
strategy and intend to set out the framework of our policy in the
Integrated Transport White Paper which we will be publishing soon.
'Equally, we want to see the River Thames properly
integrated into London's transport system and that's why, under our
proposals for a mayor and assembly for London, the Greater London
Authority will have a duty to produce an integrated tranpsort
strategy for the capital and to promote the use of the Thames for
both freight and passenger transport.'
1. Freight Facilities Grants (FFGs) were introduced in 1974 and were
extended to inland waterways in 1981. Since their introduction, FFGs
approaching£200m have helped to take more than four million
lorry journeys off the roads.
2. Ten inland waterway grants have been made since 1981, worth a total of£2.2m.
3. In 1998-99, the government is making£40m available to companies interested in freght grants, a£10m (33%) increase over last year.