CaRT's new £3.4m freight scheme

Published: Friday, 08 November 2019

THOUGH once a thriving route for freight, eventually with one barge a week it was stopped on the Aire & Calder as no longer being feasible.

Yet Canal & River Trust are attempting to resurrected the transport of freight on the Aire & Calder, as before, from Leeds to Goole with Leeds City Council having given permission.

To take freight off the roads

It wants to construct a £3.4m freight terminal at Stourton near Knostrop Flood Lock to take half a million tonnes of freight off the roads on to the waterway.

However West Yorkshire Combined Authority, representing the councils in the area, have not given permission or commented on the scheme that is planned to start next year.

Lack of dredging

A Stuart McKenzie told that one barge could carry the same load as 17 lorries, which is very debatable considering the maximum lock size is 140ft length by 17ft beam and there has been a considerable lack of dredging since freight was halted.

The former British Waterways disbanded its freight department as there was no demand.

Here is an article from narrowboatworld—perhaps Canal & River Trust should take note:

Pie in the sky


IT WAS way back in 2004 that Peel Holdings, owners of the Manchester Ship Canal told of its grandiose scheme of Port Salford,  the country's first ever inland port facility and national distribution park, that would be accessible by inland water, mainline rail and motorway.

But alas nothing happened until July 2009 when it was announced (£400 millions freight terminal) that planning permission had been granted for a £400 millions port and cargo hub that it is claimed will create more than 2,000 jobs.

Cost plummeted

Since then, eight years ago, all had gone quiet, but again it is in the news, but this time not so grandiose, as its cost has plummeted from £400 millions to £138 millions, and now just described as offering  'one of the most significant new warehousing and logistics opportunities in the UK'.

It seems it is like all too many other freight on water schemes—older readers may remember other schemes like the Cemex in Gloucester and the freight hub in Nottingham, that never saw the light of day— though Port Salford could work to some extent being on the Manchester Ship Canal.

It is now 13 years since Port Salford was first muted, and though a few warehouses could still be built, it is looking more and more like yet another pie in the sky.