British ports look for delivery on connectivity and planning ahead of BPA Annual Conference.

Speaking ahead of this week’s British Ports Association Annual Conference in Poole, BPA Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne called on the various tiers of government around the UK to do more to follow through on transport spending and planning reform.

Mr Ballantyne said:

“As the UK ports industry comes together in Poole this week we will be calling on the Government to ensure that initiatives such as the DfT’s ‘English Port Connectivity Study’ are backed up with commitments on spending. We will also be suggesting that similar assessments are undertaken in the rest of the UK.

Alongside this there is a growing concern in the ports industry that the planning and associated marine consenting regimes now include too many restrictive and costly conditions. Furthermore, there is a genuine lack of understanding by government of the negative consequences that environmental designations such as MPAs, MCZs, and SPAs have on port activity and future development.”

He continued,

“Ports of all sizes provide hubs for regional clusters of employment and economic activity, often in areas of deprivation. This means that ensuring ports can operate and grow is important to the national and regional economic health of the country.

Policy makers regularly concede that ports are overlooked in government strategies, so in the run up to Brexit now is the chance to help provide the sector with the tools it needs to grow and invest. It’s well known that ports handle 95% of the UK’s trade but surprisingly initiatives such as the government’s ‘Industrial Strategy’ only includes minimal coverage of issues such as port connectivity and nothing on port planning and development.”

The BPA Conference attracts over 200 delegates and a range of port representatives from around the UK and beyond. It is the unrivalled annual event for UK ports, when senior figures from the sector come together and a range of speakers cover topics like ports policy, socio-economic issues, Brexit, shipping trends, safety and training, marine and fisheries, legal issues and the outlook for business.

The conference also includes a full social programme as well as a port visit to enable delegates to see the recent development work around Poole Harbour.

Each year the BPA Conference is held at a different port location around the UK and next year’s will be hosted by the Port of Tyne on 10th & 11th October and in 2019 it will be organised by Belfast Harbour.

You can find out more about the conference here: www.britishports.org.uk/conference2017