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Water Freight

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with (a) the Department of Communities and Local Government and (b) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the establishment of a cross-departmental unit with responsibility for water freight; (102678)

(2) if he will make it his policy to promote the establishment of a cross-departmental unit with responsibility for water freight; and if he will make a statement.

In line with a freight study group recommendation, since 2002 the Department acts as the focal point for all water freight issues across Government. However, as the freight study group recognised, improvements in the prospects for water freight must come from the industry itself. That is why the Department has funded the setting up and running costs of Sea and Water and we look primarily to them to deliver those improvements.