East Anglia: Haven Gateway Low Carbon Freight Dividend project extended from rail to water

From left, George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich, Li

From left, George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich, Lisa Brazier, Haven Gateway project manager, and Richard Morton, Haven Gateway project director celebrate the extension of the Low Carbon Freight Dividend scheme to include coastal and short-sea shipping services as well as rail - Credit: Archant

ORGANISERS behind a project offering smaller firms financial support in switching freight from road to rail have celebrated its extension to cover shipping as well.

The Haven Gateway Partnership’s Low Carbon Freight Dividend (LCFD) scheme, which aims to create a “greener” supply chain, was first launched a year ago with an initial target of removing 30,000 container movements from the UK’s roads over a three-year period.

The £7.5million project, which received nearly £3m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has already seen substantial take-up within the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector at which it is aimed.

Now, the project has received a further £370,000 of ERDF money which, with match funding, takes the value of the project of more than £8.4m and has allowed it to be extended to cover coastal and short-sea shipping services.

Eligible SMEs within the eastern region, which have previously only used road transport, will be offered the same LCFD incentive of up to £75 per container movement for moving their freight from road to either rail or water.

The project will be able to support an additional 45 SMEs around the region to achieve “modal shift”, taking a further 3,700 containers off the road.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer formally launched the extension of the project during the final conference of the European Union Port Integration project, which was hosted by the Haven Gateway in Ipswich.

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“I am delighted to announce the extension of this ground-breaking project, which is fantastic news for SMEs and fantastic news for the environment,” said Mr Gummer.

“The original project, for shifting boxes from road to rail, was expected to remove at least 11.7 million kilogrammes of carbon dioxide from the logistics supply chain over the three-year life of the project.

“By adding the water element, the project will remove a further 1.4m kgs of carbon dioxide and encourage SMEs to take up the low-carbon, congestion-free option of freight by water.”

David Morrall, head of the ERDF programme in the East of England, said: “The Haven Gateway Partnership and the Low Carbon Freight Dividend team are to be congratulated for their hard work in creating and extending the Low Carbon Freight Dividend initiative.

“This project has been described as a ‘trail-blazer’ and certainly we are very proud to be leading where others must follow in encouraging more environmentally sustainable methods of transport.”

SMEs can claim the dividend for up to 90 container movements, which means the support could be worth up to £6,750 for eligible companies.

The Haven Gateway Partnership is also running workshop sessions offering SMEs advice on how to reduce carbon emissions in the movement of freight, and has created a web-based Containerised Cargo Carbon Calculator which enables companies to make a “green” choice by comparing the emissions created by different modes of transport.

Details of the LCFD are available from project manager Lisa Brazier. Email lisa.brazier@haven-gateway.org or visit www.lcfd.co.uk .