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Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to improve short sea shipping in UK coastal waters. (126476)

The Department promotes coastal shipping where this makes sense and has provided over £34 million of grant support for water freight projects since 2000.

In 2005, we introduced the new Waterborne Freight Grant scheme to assist shipping companies with their operating costs where there are environmental benefits to be gained from modal shift.

On a day to day basis we look to Sea and Water, the industry-led organisation which has received Department funding of £120,000 per annum since its formation in 2003, to take the lead in promoting coastal shipping services.