Commons Gate

The proposal for a National Policy Statement on Ports (HC 217-ii)

Transport Committee 20 Jan 2010

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Evidence given by:
2.45 pm British Ports Association, David Whitehead, Director UK Major Ports Group
Richard Bird, Executive Director Associated British Ports
Phillip Williams, Group Property Director The Peel Ports Group
Stephen Baxter, Chief Executive
Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd /Port of Felixstowe
Andrew Harston, Port Development Director
3.45 pm
Chamber of Shipping, David Asprey, Head of Shipping Policy
Freight Transport Association, Chris Welsh, General Manager for Policy and Campaigns
CBI, Matthew Farrow, Head of Energy, Infrastructure and Planning
Rail Freight Group, Maggie Simpson, Policy Manager
4.30 pm
Environment Agency, Simon Birch, Head of Planning and Environmental Assessment
Greenpeace, Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist and Policy Director, Greenpeace UK
RSPB, Andrew Dodd, Head of Site Conservation Policy : uploaded on 25 January 2010

Q140 Mr. David Clelland: Mr Bird has just said that the investment comes at no cost to the Exchequer but of course that is not quite the case, is it, because all of the necessary infrastructure - the rail and road systems and the congestion which can result as a result of the activity - does fall upon the Exchequer. Therefore, surely the Exchequer or the government ought to have some say in where ports are going to be located because of the costs that would fall upon the taxpayer?

Mr Bird: That is absolutely right but ports are of course vital for the economy in moving goods in and out. It is right that the Exchequer should pick up its share of the costs of those improvements. We do feel that the government's policy to charge port developers for a proportion of national infrastructure in relation to development is misguided and puts our ports at a disadvantage compared with continental ports and might reduce the opportunities for future investment.

This is an uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House. The transcript has been placed on the internet on the authority of the Committee. Neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

The full transcript may be read here.

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