Memorandum by Dr Merv Rowlinson (FUS 10)
THE FUTURE OF THE UK SHIPPING
I submit the following ideas as a contribution
to future shipping policy. The rational is that the selected five
areas of trade are worthy of further feasibility studies in the
context of a freight shift from road to water (coastal/shortsea
shipping). Not only would this prove a significant contribution
the "Sustainable Mobility" strategy but also provide
opportunities for UK shipping policy in areas where it still holds
The Custom and Excise regime for oil products
has militated against domestic bulk distribution by ship/barge.
Needs to be reviewed.
Western Highlands and Islands Trades:
The competitive balance between direct sea and
road/ro-ro ferry combinations has been distorted by imbalances
in subsidies. This has proved detrimental to the former, particularly
in the timber trades.
Earlier proposals by a business consortium to
operate shortsea liner services from the inland port deserves
North Sea Coastal Highway:
Earlier studies in an North East-South East freight
ro-ro service to be up-dated. Comparative analysis with Italian
"Autostrade del Mare" to be made.
Container Feeder Services:
Prospects for coastal services, e.g., Southampton-Grangemouth
to be reviewed. Possibility of start up support similar to rail's
Track Access Grant to be considered.
Dr Merv Rowlinson
London Guildhall University
3 December 1998