A sustainable growth agenda at the heart of the Association’s work over the next 12 months: BPA

2021-01-07 11:29:48 International Ports News

The British Ports Association’s Chief Executive outlines what the agenda for UK ports will look like during 2021

A sustainable growth agenda at the heart of the Association’s work over the next 12 months

The British Ports Association (BPA), which represents 86% of UK port freight activities around the UK, sees the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU bedding in and the mass roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine beginning. However UK ports might well be looking at a different policy agenda by the end of the year. A sustainable growth agenda and promoting the value of ports and their varied activities will be at the heart of the Association’s work over the next 12 months.

Commenting on the year ahead, the BPA’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne, said:

2021 could see a bounce back from the various impacts that affected the UK and global economy last year

”As we move into the New Year, many ports are still dealing with the impacts of coronavirus, in terms of day-to-day port operations and also a revised business environment. The potential for further restrictions and national lockdowns are daunting indeed. However, despite the obvious changes for those operators handling EU freight, 2021 could see a bounce back from the various impacts that affected the UK and global economy last year

Moving forward, Freeports is just one tool which will only target a limited number of particular locations. We will be encouraging policymakers to look at other mechanisms which will benefit all regions in respect to infrastructure and the regulatory environment.”

 Included in the sustainability work of the BPA will be a renewed focus on modal shift such as increased rail fright opportunities for certain ports but also, particularly, coastal shipping, which has been neglected as a policy area by the government over the last 10 years.

We will be looking at options to take goods off congested land routes onto ships

With the UK’s departure from the EU we will be looking at how, in certain circumstances, options to take goods off congested land routes onto ships can help support the sustainability agenda. Shipping is of course the most environmentally efficient form of freight transport.”

Adding to this Mr Ballantyne talked up what Brexit might mean in terms of the wider regulatory agenda:

”Brexit needs to be much more than the new bureaucratic border controls on much of our trade that have taken up so much attention in the last four years. The UK ports and maritime sector are of course keen to see some tangible benefits but this could mean swift action from the government.

Post-Brexit, the regulatory regime to create a more responsive framework that enables ports to be agile in attracting new investment

The new regulatory regime means that the UK can now design a policy framework that better enables ports of all type to flourish and grow. This not about ripping up environmental rules or safety standards, but is about looking for ways to create a more responsive framework that enables ports to be agile in attracting new investment and to grow and support jobs and local communities.”

Other International Ports News

Advertisement