Providing good access to ports is absolutely essential, and road and rail connecting links to ports are a key part of the nation’s infrastructure network. At the moment, port developers are responsible for road and rail connecting links to ports, which is a significant financial disincentive to investment in UK ports. UKMPG strongly believes that significant road and rail links to ports should be publicly funded.
In 2013 the Commons Transport Committee issued a report agreeing with this position. Describing ports as “national assets” essential to the economic well being of the country, the MPs called for priority to be given to removing constraints to port development caused by inadequate transport infrastructure. Other recommendations were that the Government should help ports navigate the complex arrangements for getting local transport improvements off the ground; that significant improvements to access to ports should be publicly funded; and that the Government should devise a more effective successor to the Waterborne Freight Grant to stimulate coastal shipping.