Item 12

Report to the

Date: 15 July 2008

Report by: Alison Linnell

tel: 01962 857458 email:alison.linnell@hants.gov.uk

Subject: Transport for South Hampshire Freight Strategy - Consultation

Purpose of the Report

The purpose of the report is to seek authorisation to proceed to consultation on the initial draft Transport for South Hampshire freight strategy, issues paper attached as an appendix.

Recommendation

That the Joint Committee authorises wider consultation using the issues paper and initial draft strategy produced by the Transport for South Hampshire Freight Forum (in turn based on the outline of contents and indicative list of policies previously endorsed by the Committee) as a focus for discussion.

Introduction

1. At the meeting of the Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) Joint Committee on 8 January (Item 8), it was agreed that authority be given by the Joint Committee for the establishment of a Transport for South Hampshire Freight Forum to lead on the development of a Freight Strategy covering the sub-region.

2. The Joint Committee also endorsed a proposed outline of contents and indicative list of policies as the appropriate starting point for informal consultation with industry stakeholders.

3. This report outlines progress in setting up the Freight Forum and in producing a proposed issues paper and initial draft strategy for wider consultation resulting from discussion with specialised industry stakeholders within the Forum.

4. Members' authority is now sought to consult more widely using the proposed issues paper and initial draft strategy as a focus for discussion.

5. Following consultation a further report will be brought to Members summarising responses received and suggesting the way forward in terms of finalising a freight strategy for the sub-region.

The TfSH Freight Forum

6. Representatives from the freight industry, the South East England Development Agency, the Highways Agency, road, rail and freight operators, the logistics sector and retail business were invited to join the TfSH Freight Forum and an initial meeting held on 1 April.

7. The outline of contents and indicative list of policies endorsed by members were well received by the Forum. Key issues in the South Hampshire area and beyond were identified by partners, and discussions were wide-ranging.

8. The Forum suggested some minor changes to the documents and also proposed a series of questions which could usefully be posed in consulting a wider audience in order to assist those responding and focus on key issues. In addition the Forum considered that it would be very helpful to publish a six page issues paper summarising the main points of the initial draft strategy and setting out the key questions on which responses were particularly sought.

9. A draft issues paper and revised initial draft strategy have been drawn up to reflect the discussions and consensus reached within the Forum. It is now proposed to consult more widely using the issues paper and initial draft as a focus. It is intended that it will be possible to respond to the consultation either in writing or via the internet.

10. A consultation period of 12 weeks is proposed, ending in October, if Members endorse the actions proposed by the Forum. A further report summarising responses and proposals for a freight strategy could then be brought before Members early in the new year.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

 

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

 

NB the list excludes:

 

1.

Published works.

 

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

TITLE

LOCATION

None.

 

1739Rpt/AL

Summary of Freight Strategy Consultation Draft

  I

Introduction

The partnership Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) was established last year as the transport delivery agency for the South Hampshire sub-region and encompasses the two cities of Portsmouth and Southampton together with the Borough councils of Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and southern parts of the District councils of Winchester, Test Valley and East Hampshire and the eastern part of New Forest district.

 TfSH brings together the local transport authorities, the transport operators, business interests and government agencies to deliver change and plan improvements to the transport network.

TfSH has identified the need to produce a coherent freight strategy for the sub-region to try and address the many challenges and pressures facing the freight industry and provide a forum for the sector to make its views known. In order to produce such a strategy, we need to know what the key issues facing the freight industry are. We need to know what potential options and solutions have the support of stakeholders. Hence, the need for this consultation process.

This brochure sets out some suggested objectives, indicates a number of key issues and summarises a series of potential actions. We want to know what you think of them. For details of how to respond, please see the final page.

Aim and objectives

The proposed aim of the TfSH freight strategy is:

"To facilitate the safe and efficient transportation of freight into, out of and within the TfSH sub-region, supporting a competitive local and regional economy, whilst taking into account the existing and future needs of our society and the environment."

It is suggested that this aim can be met through achieving the following objectives:

7. To encourage a holistic multi-modal approach to freight transport which recognises the most appropriate mode for each type of movement.

Why do we need a TfSH Freight Strategy?

Freight is a major part of the UK economy. UK industry spends £72 billion per year on transporting goods by road and rail. The South Hampshire sub-region is strategically important in terms of freight transport. The sub-region is home to an international airport and two internationally connected ports and is well served by rail.

These international gateways make a substantial contribution to the economy of the sub-region. The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) is seeking to work with business to improve the economic competitiveness of the sub-region. The freight logistics and distribution sector can play a key role in supporting economic growth in South Hampshire.

The M3, A3(M) and M27 motorways provide good road access into and across the area. Currently 74% of commuter journeys in the South Hampshire sub-region are made by private car. This leads to sections of the motorway network operating near or at capacity during peak times.

With the predicted growth in traffic on the network, within the next 18 years, the majority of the motorways and main roads will be at or over capacity. If this worsening congestion is not addressed, it will impact upon the competitiveness of the freight sector within the sub-region.

CONGESTION ON ENGLAND'S ROADS, IF UNCHECKED, WILL INCREASE COSTS TO BUSINESSES AND FREIGHT BY OVER £10BN A YEAR BY 2025

The Eddington Transport Study: The case for action December 2006

The map below shows in red sections of the strategic highway network in South Hampshire that will be operating in excess of their design capacity by 2026.

 With significant amounts of new housing and employment growth planned, there will be a need to reduce the need to travel, manage existing infrastructure better and where appropriate invest in additional network capacity.

The sections that follow set out the key issues identified so far that face the road, rail and maritime freight sectors. The purpose of this consultation is to check if stakeholders agree that these are the issues or to flag up other issues that are not identified.

Road Freight Issues

· Large sections of the Strategic Lorry Route Network are predicted to be operating over-capacity by 2026 as a result of commuter traffic growth and new development.

 AM Peak congestion on the M27 near J7

· On the motorway and trunk road network the worst affected will be the M3, M27, A3(M), the A27(T) (E of J12), and the A34(T).

· On local authority managed routes, the most congested corridors will be the routes into Portsmouth, the A35 Redbridge Road into Southampton, the A32 between Fareham and Gosport and the A335 Southampton Road into Eastleigh.

· Some smaller retail centres without rear service access experience congestion at peak delivery times when numbers of delivery vehicles exceed the number of available on-street loading bays.

· There is no motorway service area on (or lorry park close to) the M27 between J5 and Portsmouth. This has led to illegal parking of HGVs at Segensworth. Concerns have been raised that the problem could worsen when the A3(T) Hindhead Improvement is completed.

· Port growth at Southampton, and work to accommodate larger container ships will lead to an increase in HGV movements to and from the dock gates. These additional levels of port traffic will need to be forecasted and subsequently managed to minimise impact on the highway network.

· HGVs contribute to the problem of poor air quality on some congested corridors. Examples include the A335 Leigh Road and Southampton Road corridors in Eastleigh and on London Road and Mile End Road in Portsmouth.

· Vehicle access routes into Portsmouth Commercial Port and Naval Base require improvement to prevent queuing vehicles from impeding other traffic.

· In the peak summer tourist season, high volumes of car and coach traffic create difficulties for commercial goods vehicles delivering to/ from the Isle of Wight, and lead to congestion around these ferry ports. Volumes of commercial vehicles on routes to/ from the Island are expected to grow by 27-40% by 2020.

Rail Freight Issues

· The rail corridor from the Port of Southampton to the West Midlands is unable to accommodate 9'6'' containers on conventional wagons. A £54m rail gauge enhancement project in underway on this route, with completion by 2011.

· Expansion plans at DP World Southampton (the container port) seek to more than double current container throughput, and have 40% of onward transportation by rail.

 EWS terminal at DP World Southampton

· Portsmouth Commercial Port have set an initial target of 2% of port-generated freight traffic to be forwarded by rail, using their new railhead at Fratton.

· The ability for rail to play its part in achieving this target could be partly constrained by network capacity bottlenecks in the Reading area. These will be addressed by improvements planned to be carried out by 2014.

· In the longer term there is limited scope for new pathways for additional freight trains on the Southampton to West Midlands route, and there may be a need to invest in new passing loops.

· The planning system should safeguard disused freight sidings and railheads from redevelopment to allow for potential new freight flows to be established.

Maritime Freight Issues

· By 2030, forecasts suggest the final origin or destination of more than 40% of all goods being moved within the UK will be abroad, most passing through large ports.

· The Port of Southampton, run by ABP handles 76,000 commercial shipping movements per year (liquid and dry-bulk goods, aggregates, motor vehicle imports and exports, containers and cruise passengers).

Aerial view of DP World Southampton

· 12,000 people are employed at the port of Southampton or in related industries, contributing £2 billion a year to the local economy. To improve the economic competitiveness of the sub region, it is essential to support port development.

· Expansion plans set out by DP World Southampton (the company operating the container port - a joint venture between ABP and DP World) seek to more than double current container throughput.

· This will be achieved by a combination of dredging a deeper channel and a new berth to accommodate larger vessels, together with use of new crane technology and better use of the existing site footprint.

· DP World Southampton have a target for 25% of container traffic from the terminal to be trans-shipped by sea via feeder services to other UK ports. Currently there are five feeder services in operation.

· In order to achieve expansion of container throughput, there will be a need to identify land outside the port boundary for container storage and other port related land uses.

Proposed Action Plan

TfSH is proposing to take the lead on the following 24 interventions and improvements to support the freight sector. The section that follows summarises the suggested actions, which, if agreed would be progressed by a new TfSH Freight Quality Partnership.

Distribution System Measures

It is proposed that TfSH would:

1. Support Southampton City Council to secure EU funding for a four year freight planning project (which will include development work towards setting up a Freight Consolidation Centre);

2. Promote the concept of secure freight lockers at locations without adequate rear service access;

3. Support the use of the railhead at Fratton goods yard for forwarding of imports from Portsmouth commercial port;

4. Seek to work with freight operators and the rail industry to transfer freight from road to rail where appropriate;

5. Encourage mayor employers to incorporate deliveries and servicing into the scope of their workplace travel plans;

6. Encourage local planning authorities to safeguard wharves and rail yards from redevelopment;

Access Measures

 It is proposed that TfSH would:

7. Undertake appropriate transport modelling to predict cumulative impact of planned growth within the sub-region on the transport network as to assist in making the case for new investment;

8. Work closely with partners and statutory bodies to plan and bid for investment needed to manage congestion on the motorway and trunk road network and access points to it, to mitigate any worsening in journey time reliability resulting from forecast traffic growth. Also plan and support bids for funding towards rail capacity improvements;

9. Promote existence of Freight Transport Association's toolkit on Overnight Deliveries as a solution for large retail premises in residential areas that reduce need for deliveries at peak times of congestion, and consider application of initiative in urban South Hampshire, if appropriate;

10. Monitor UK trials of allowing freight vehicles to use bus lanes or of "No car" lanes and consider scope for introduction of freight priority measures on the road network within urban South Hampshire if the evidence shows that benefits are likely to outweigh the disbenefits;

 No car lane in Newcastle City Centre

11. Work in partnership with Ports to exploit any further opportunities for funding from EU programmes towards port-rail terminal improvements;

12. Work in partnership with rail freight & port operators to secure Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) or Rail Environmental Benefit Procurement Scheme (REPS) funding towards providing new terminals or railheads where appropriate;

Point of Delivery Measures

It is proposed TfSH would:

13. Monitor UK best practice and research into innovative approaches to manage use of loading bays such as the Smartfreight project (eg. pre-booked slots for bays similar to airport landing slots);

Information Measures

It is proposed TfSH would:

14. In partnership with business develop Advisory Freight Route Plans for city and town centres and industrial estates in urban South Hampshire;

15. Encourage provision of information boards at entrances to main industrial estates where a need has been identified;

16. Encourage provision of Information boards at laybys frequently used by HGV drivers to give information about routings to industrial estates and locations of lorry parks and driver rest facilities;

Vehicle Standards & Vehicle Use Measures

It is proposed TfSH would:

17. Promote the Freight Best Practice guidance on improving fuel efficiency to lorry operators through appropriate business groups and bodies;

18. Encourage and support expansion of non-polluting or electric vehicle fleets within public sector vehicle fleets (e.g. local authorities/ NHS) and amongst Third Party Logistics operators within urban delivery areas in south Hampshire;

Education and Public Awareness Measures

It is proposed TfSH would:

19. Work to raise public awareness about the environmental consequences of importing food from abroad, through education initiatives such as Food Miles;

20. Support initiatives to raise public awareness of the vital role played in the supply chain by ports and logistics operators in supplying consumer goods to shops and customers, so is less taken for granted or "hidden" from the public eye;

21. Make use of local authority publications to raise the profile of freight within the community so that a greater appreciation is gained of the importance of port and logistics related businesses to the sub-regional economy;

Routing Measures

It is proposed TfSH would:

22. In rural areas, provide and sign suitable routes for heavy goods vehicles, and work with developers of SatNav systems to discourage the use of unsuitable rural lanes by appropriate weight limits;

23. Ensure roads and bridges on strategic lorry routes are maintained to the necessary standard; and

24. Encourage the provision of new and existing strategic and local lorry parks within urban South Hampshire (and beyond) where need for more capacity has been identified.

Have Your Say.....

An important stage of developing the strategy is to ask stakeholders and businesses what they think the key issues are facing the freight industry and if they agree with the 24 proposed actions listed above. This 12-week consultation is the opportunity for stakeholders to influence and shape the content of the final strategy. To view the full consultation draft of the strategy and download the consultation questionnaire for stakeholders, please visit http://www.tfsh.org.uk/freightconsultation

We would specifically welcome feedback on the following areas:

1. What are the key issues for freight providers? Are these properly reflected in the draft Strategy?

2. What are the three most important issues for freight distribution that the following categories of people should be focussing on?:

3. Do national and local policy and investment decisions pay adequate regard to freight issues? Where are the major failings and what could be done to address this?

4. Do you have any suggestions for ways of making freight distribution more sustainable (other than those already mentioned in Section 6 of the main strategy documents)?

5. The strategy proposes an increased role for freight by rail and by water. Is this realistic. What are the barriers and how should these be addressed?

6. How can new and emerging technologies help improve freight distribution? What is "just round the corner" that we should be planning for now?

7. Do you agree with opening up bus lanes for use by freight operators? Are there any other priority measures you would like to see for freight?

8. Should there be a presumption that water and rail connected sites and lorry parks be protected for future freight uses? Are there any specific sites that need to be protected?

9. Is there a need for additional lorry parking across the sub-region? If so where?

10. Are there any other comments you would like to make about the TfSH Freight Strategy Consultation Draft?

Please can you send your completed questionnaires and views to: tfshfreight@hants.gov.uk by 21st October 2008.