Memorandum by the British National Committee
of PIANC (IT 55)
THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEGRATED TRANSPORT WHITE
The International Navigation Association (until
recently the Permanent International Association of Navigation
CongressesPIANC), which was founded in 1885, is a world-wide
non-political and non-profit making organisation open to individuals,
corporate bodies and national, federal and regional Governments.
It gives access to international experience and knowledge in the
fields of inland and maritime waterways, ports, coastal engineering
and the environment. The British National Committee (BNC) oversees
the work of the British National Section.
The White Paper outlines a welcome change in
policy towards integrated modes of transport. The BNC strongly
endorses the Memorandum submitted by the Institution of Civil
We note the proposal to establish a Commission
for Integrated Transport which would overview the work of the
Regional Development Agencies and of local authorities.
We wish to emphasise some points of general
significance which particularly affect waterborne transport:
The proposals should lead to a system
of taxation that would affect all modes of transport equitably.
The costs of transport depend strongly
on the return on capital. Rail and waterways are used far below
their potential and this is reflected in their charging structure.
It is likely that well-considered pump-priming designed to increase
traffic would be economically beneficial.
If intensity of use is to be increased
there needs to be a radical reform of operational methods, particularly
of control of locomotives and vessels, e.g., through development
of signalling and operational control systems. Control systems
using the best of current technology should be installed as rapidly
as possible, consistent with safety and environmental conditions.
Research is needed into new and innovative
systems of interchange between modes of transport.
We have noted the comments on waterborne transport
in the White Paper and are greatly encouraged by its approach.
A system of checks and balances is envisaged which should ensure
that regional and local planning decisions conform to the recommendations
of the CfIT.
We believe that Government should adopt and
work towards the waterborne freight target established by the
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution30 per cent
of tonne-km from present 24 per cent. This requires the creation
within the DETR of a unit with a specific remit to prepare a rolling
programme for waterway maintenance, improvement and development
and with the task of promoting and co-ordinating strategies for
Local Authorities are subjected to great pressure
from developers and must be supported so that developments which
could inhibit evolution of a sustainable transport infrastructure
are prevented. Whether or not industry is able to use water transport
depends critically on land use planning at the local level. Local
authorities have a special duty to ensure that in their land-use
planning, any enterprise that is a potential user of water transport
is located adjacent to the water and that any existing waterside
industrial sites which become available for redevelopment are
allocated to industries which might use water transport. As has
happened along the Thames, waterside industrial sites and freight-handling
facilities should be "safeguarded" for establishments
able to use water transportthere is no hope for water transport
once such sites have been redeveloped for non-water transport
It is just as important to safeguard sites that
have potential for development as interchanges between modesroad/rail,
water/rail, water/road, rail/air etc.without which integrated
transport cannot exist.
The proposal to examine the rules relating to
the Freight Facilities Grant scheme is welcomed and it would be
helpful if such funds could be more readily available for "pump-priming"
activities and trial movements of freight. Maintenance dredging
on British Waterways track is now made difficult by other calls
on its funding and a method needs to be found whereby funding
of maintenance for freight waterways can be guaranteedthis
could be a role for a new Water Transport Unit?