The British Ports Association is looking at challenges and opportunities facing UK ports beyond Brexit this year.
The BPA is keen to focus on port sector promotion, increased public transport investment, planning/consenting improvements and issues around people and safety which will all be priorities for all ports across the UK.
Additionally, potential new border controls, changes to environmental and regulatory rules and a new fisheries policy remain as major themes for the industry in 2019.
“2019 will be another critical year for UK ports and in the coming months we should start to know what Brexit will look like. UK ports provides important international gateways for goods and passengers and it is essential that the industry features highly in the Government’s Brexit considerations,” Richard Ballantyne, BPA Chief Executive, said.
“This is particularly important to pro-trade facilitation measures in relation to any new border control processes at British ports and especially at the UK’s network of Roll-on Roll-off ferry ports which facilitate much of the UK’s European trade.”
Alongside Brexit the BPA has been promoting a Port Zoning policy which it will be looking to evidence and provide further analysis on.
“The BPA’s Port Development and Enterprise Zone concept is our vision is for areas around ports to be classified with a special planning, consenting, business and regulatory status to help stimulate port development and growth,” Ballantyne continued.
The idea could see the growth of a network regional hubs around port and coastal locations across the UK.
The BPA will also be promoting the case for increased road and rail infrastructure investment to better connect UK ports and encourage the development of a new national freight strategy to better facilitate trade and cargo transportation.
In 2019 the BPA will also be examining safety and skills at ports, supporting the working of the industry body Port Skills and Safety which leads on training and landside safety issues for ports, and other relevant topics.