Comley's Wharf in Fulham, which will play its part in getting lorries
off London's congested roads and freight traffic on to the Thames was
opened today by transport minister Glenda Jackson. The crane was
Ms Jackson said:
'The department has awarded a grant of£118,500 towards the cost
of this equipment. Just one example of our commitment to move
freight off our roads and onto rail and inland waterways. More
generally we want to revitalise the Thames as a transport artery and
as a focus for London life.
'Ultimately, businesses such as Ready Mixed Concrete will only
move away from road transport if it makes commercial sense to do so.
That is exactly what has happened in this case - a freight facilities
grant has made water transport the best environmental and the best
Commenting on the need to protect the capital's remaining wharves
against development pressures, Glenda Jackson said:
'We are continuing the policy of protecting a number of strategic
working wharves - of which this is one example - to ensure that the
Thames continues to have sufficient capacity to handle increasing
levels of freight and can remain a working river as well as a place
for leisure and recreation.'
1. Two grants are available under the Freight Grants Scheme. The
Freight Facilities Grant is available towards the cost of rail and
inland waterway facilities or equipment in cases where the freight
would otherwise go by road. Track Access Grants help defray the costs
to rail freight operators of access to the rail network. Both grants
are given in recognition of the environmental and wider benefits
which removing lorry traffic from roads can bring.
2. Since 1975 over 250 grants have been awarded throughout Britain.
It is estimated that thesegrants, worth approaching£200m, have
removed nearly five million lorry journeys from Britain's roads. The
amount available for such grants has increased by a third this year
3. On October 14, the department announced the award of 16 new rail
freight grants worth a total of over£9m.
4. According to Waterborne Freight in the United Kingdom 1997,
published todayby DETR, the volume of goods moved on inland waterways
increased by three per cent in 1997. The toal tonnage carried in 1997
also rose, by two per cent. The report presents statistics of freight
traffic moved within the United Kingdom by water transport in 1997.
The statistics cover traffic carried by both inland craft (barges)
and seagoing vessels along the inland waterway system and around the
coast of the United Kingdom.