Peel Ports, which owns the Manchester Ship Canal and much of the activity on it, is planning to increase cargo traffic by up to 70 per cent. This will have a direct and indirect impact on communities in the region and especially along the 36 mile maritime corridor stretching from the Quays to Eastham.
Ideally the increase in shipping will take HGVs off the road, provide employment and increase business opportunities. The other side of the coin is that road traffic will actually increase in certain areas where activity will be concentrated, such as the proposed site for Port Salford at Barton. There are also environmental and ecological aspects to be considered.
With these issues in mind, Peel Ports is holding consultations with the various communities likely to be most affected by the proposed developments. There's an opportunity to meet, speak and grill Peel's managers from 3.30pm until 7:30pm today, Thursday July 14th, at the Digital World Centre, opposite The Lowry in Salford Quays.
"These local events, which are being held in communities adjacent to the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal, are very important" says Peel Ports Head of Port Planning Warren Marshall "All written views submitted will be carefully considered and will help to shape the final version of the Master Plan.
"The purpose of the Master Plan is to clarify our own strategic planning for the medium to long term - and inform all of our stakeholders; from regional and local planning bodies and transport network providers to port users, employees and, very importantly, people living in local communities, as to how they can expect to see the Port and Ship Canal develop over the coming years" he adds "This is an extensive consultation, and we are asking people to get involved and tell us what they think."
If you can't make it in person, the consultation goes on until Monday September 5th and views can be given either by writing to Mersey Ports Master Plan Consultation, Maritime Centre, Port of Liverpool, L21 1LA.
Or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
***** Please note that this is not an objective independent consultation or even a Salford Council consultation – it is Peel's own private consultation ****
A copy of the draft Master Plan can be downloaded at www.merseydocks.co.uk/masterplan
* Editor's Note - If you do go down there today please ask Peel why they need so much public money to carry out their Master Plans - £15million for Port Salford and £22 for the Barton stadium (see here)