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Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports

SP Paper 619 LG/S2/06/R10
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Volume 2

water-borne freight

276. The Committee’s deliberations on water-borne freight focused on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry, container shipping links, new port development and  the formulation of a port policy for Scotland. Reference was also made to the movement of freight by canal.

Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry

277. The direct ferry service between Rosyth and Zeebrugge, operated by Superfast Ferries (part of the Greek Attica group), has been running since May 2002.  It is Scotland’s only roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) service to the European mainland. Freight volumes grew slowly over the first year, but by 2004 the annual number of trucks making the crossing had risen to 40,300 (equivalent to a convoy of lorries 375 miles long). Over the first 2 ½  years of the service it carried around 1.5 million tonnes of freight. 

278. Director of Forth Ports plc Alan Burns told the committee in reference to the Rosyth ferry service—

‘I think it has been extremely successful. […] In our best year, we moved approximately 42,000 freight units—we slipped just below that last year because of the adjustment in the sailing schedule and the loss of one vessel. We were ahead of all business expectations and budgets at that point and we had not fully exploited the freight market.’114

279. The majority of the freight movements are of unaccompanied trailers.  It is not economic for most operators to tie up a driver and tractor unit for the eighteen hour crossing. Gavin Scott from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) told the Committee that the proportion of driver-accompanied vehicles was growing as a result of the increased use, by foreign carriers, of low-wage Eastern European drivers. He explained that:

‘We know that more driver-accompanied vehicles, rather than dropped trailers, are being moved now, because it is cheaper to employ a driver who comes from Latvia, for example, to drive the vehicle once it arrives, rather than employ a local driver to do so […].’115

280. In November 2005 Superfast cut the frequency of service from a daily sailing to three sailings per week.  One of the two vessels was transferred to a route between Germany and Finland.  Superfast stated that it was responding to ‘market demand and pursuing European network optimisation’116. The vessel which was transferred has since been sold by Superfast.

281. Relevant evidence to this Inquiry is unanimously critical of the decline in service frequency.   This has not only reduced service quality; it has also halved the available capacity, with the result that lorries often have to be turned away.   Prior to the frequency reduction, the service was handling an average of 70 freight units per night on a vessel that can carry around 110. In their submission to the Committee Amicus express concern that:

‘the cuts in the service from 5 days to 3 days per week with one ferry, will lead to a serious strategic impact on the manufacturing industry in this country. Manufacturing companies may indeed consider pulling out of this route due to increasing cost margins brought about by the reduced service. ‘ 117

282. Despite initial fears that many hauliers would desert the service and switch their traffic to daily ro-ro services out of Hull and Immingham, it appears that many Scottish hauliers have remained loyal to the Superfast service.  Gavin Scott from the Freight Transport Association noted that ‘carryings on the Rosyth to Zeebrugge service have dropped slightly.’118

283. Some companies have been seriously affected by this service reduction.  The Michelin tyre plant in Dundee has been a heavy user of the service since its inception.  Prior to the loss of the daily service, all the factory’s imports of semi-finished products (1000 loads per annum) and a quarter of its output of finished products (1200 loads per annum) were transported by the ferry. These enabled the company to cut its transport costs by 15% and time to market by 3 days.  The reduction in service frequency has significantly increased its logistics costs and inventory levels.119 Tony Devlin from the Transport and General Workers Union told the Committee about the future plans Michelin had before the ferry service frequency was reduced —

‘Michelin perceived that, in time, it would carry 40 per cent of finished product loads, which would take the figure from 1,157 up to nearly 2,000 loads per year. The company was thinking about expanding, perhaps by constructing a storage warehouse in the Rosyth area.’120

284. The prospects of a daily service being resumed were explored with several witnesses.  Mary McLaughlin from Scottish Enterprise explained to the Committee that the service receives no subsidy and that the commercial operator ‘felt that it was not making enough money’121 from the previous level of service.  Mary McLaughlin from Scottish Enterprise went on to tell the Committee—

‘[…] perhaps one ferry between Rosyth and Zeebrugge is as much as the market can bear. Obviously, if demand increases, someone else might come along and start up another service. There is a possibility of someone running a freight-only service on that route as well as a freight and passenger service.’122

285. Anyone attempting to restore a daily service might have difficulty finding a suitable vessel. As Mary McLaughlin from Scottish Enterprise noted—

‘it is not just about someone coming along to provide a service; it is about finding and procuring the right vessel for the service.’123

286. The current vessel achieves a speed of over 26 knots, making the 400 nautical mile crossing in 18 hours, and offers a very high quality of accommodation for passengers and truck drivers. The Director of Forth Ports argued that —

‘I do not think that people would have built up such a positive view of the service if it used lesser ships: the reliability of the service would not have been maintained and people would not have been encouraged to use it. It is a first-class advert for Scotland.’124

287. Given the strategic importance of Scotland maintaining a direct ro-ro link with the European mainland it is essential that the Scottish Executive does what it can to preserve the present service and try to restore the daily frequency.  The Transport Minister told the Committee that—

‘The best that my team and I can do is to be in constant touch with the ferry operator and the businesses that use the operation and to try to assist the development of a business case. I assure you that we had plenty of discussions about the company's commercial decision to reduce its service and we will continue to press for a higher frequency of service, which is in our interest. From a commercial perspective, the case for having two ships must stack up. We will try to play a positive role in achieving the economies of scale that would allow the service to be reinstated.’125

288. The Committee endorses the Scottish Executive’s  support for the ro-ro ferry service from Rosyth to Zeebrugge. It is encouraged by the positive efforts of Forth Ports to promote this service and notes that  EU initiatives to support ‘motorways of the sea’ may also prove beneficial.

289. The Committee also encourages the Scottish Executive to explore whether market opportunities exist to develop new maritime freight links with mainland Europe, particularly Scandinavia.

Container Shipping Links

290. The capacity of the ports system will have to be substantially expanded to accommodate the projected growth of container traffic. Bill Burns, Managing Director of the Hunterston Container Hub, told the Committee that—

‘Scotland's market today is approximately 623,000 20ft equivalent units, or TEUs, of container. That is about 8.22 per cent of the total UK market, which correlates more or less with Scotland's contribution to the UK GDP. It is estimated that the total UK market will double by about 2016.’126

291. Scotland’s main container port, Grangemouth, has enjoyed a healthy growth in container traffic in recent years. Alan Burns from Forth Ports plc told the Committee that—

‘Generally, we view Grangemouth as Scotland's super-regional port, based on its container traffic, which in the past five years has grown by 120 per cent. We estimate conservatively the growth for containers alone in the coming year at 15 per cent.’127

292. Much of the port’s container traffic connects with deep-sea vessels at Rotterdam or Antwerp.  As the major shipping lines have concentrated their deep-sea operation in a smaller number of hub ports, transhipment services to ports such as Grangemouth have expanded.

293. Forth Ports, which owns Grangemouth, has invested in new cranes, installed a computerised container management system and moved to 24 hour working to cater for this high level of growth.  The port has the advantages of a central location, good road and rail links and adequate land for development.   It is, however, upstream and tidal.   Over the past decade, much port capacity around the world has moved downstream, often into coastal locations to facilitate access, accommodate larger vessels, speed turnaround times and remove the need for dredging.  The feeder vessels used in transhipment operations, like deep-sea vessels, are steadily increasing in size.  In a visit to Grangemouth, members of the Committee were assured that for the foreseeable future, the port would be able to accommodate the feeder vessels used on North Sea routes.

294. Alan Burns from Forth Ports plc told the Committee that the feeder vessels were—

‘sizeable, but they are still only about half the capacity that the port can handle. If required, there are opportunities to consider an outer berth to handle even bigger vessels and we could consider a container operation at our sister facility at Rosyth as well.’128

295. Furthermore, the additional steaming time up the River Forth does not appear to seriously impair the efficiency of the container shipping operations and is partly offset by the port’s proximity to Scotland’s main industrial and distribution centres. 

296. Forth Ports, working closely with Forth Valley Enterprise (FVE), are keen to develop Grangemouth from a basic port into a ‘logistics hub’ which can perform a range of value-adding services.  This is in keeping with a world-wide trend to transform ports from simply being transport terminals into key nodes in the supply chain where companies can get a range of storage, handling and even processing services. A new ‘distribution park’ is being developed taking advantage of Grangemouth’s central location within Scotland and its good multi-modal connections by road, rail and sea.

297. Grangemouth may be able to develop a new role as a point of entry for containerised imports of retail supplies from the Far East for distribution to shops in the northern half of the UK.  The rising tide of consumer goods imports from the Far East is forcing major retail chains to restructure their inbound logistics.  Many are establishing ‘import centres’ at or near ports where containers are ‘destuffed’ and products prepared for store delivery.  At present many empty containers are ‘repositioned’ into Scotland to meet the export requirements of the Scotch whisky industry.  Rather than ‘import’ empty containers, containers loaded with Far Eastern imports could be routed through Scotland, taking advantage of lower backhaul rates for containers moving into Scotland from Rotterdam and Antwerp.  Inventory could be held at DCs in the vicinity of Grangemouth and distributed cost-competitively to retail outlets as far south as the English Midlands.  This transit traffic would help to fill many of the lorries which currently travel south from Scotland empty.129 

298. The Committee believes that Scotland should be taking advantage of innovative strategies to develop logistics as an important sector in its own right.   By attracting a range of value-adding services, transport terminals, such as ports, can attract a range of ancillary activities and generate significant amounts of new employment.

Proposals for New Ports

299. Clydeport (Peel Holdings) is proposing to develop Hunterston as a new deep-sea container port exploiting its deep water access, available land, good landward transport links and the port’s location relative to North Atlantic shipping routes.  Bill Burns the Managing Director of the Hunterston Container Hub presented the Committee with an outline of the case for this development he portrayed Hunterston as ‘one of the few natural deep-water ports in Europe or globally’130, capable of handling the next generation of much larger ships.  He  argued that—

‘We could end up with a situation whereby the ports that would be able to handle that type of vessel, fully laden, would be the outer ports of Germany and the ports of Rotterdam and Hunterston’.131

300. A deep-sea container port at Hunterston would serve both the UK and transhipment markets.  The UK hinterland would be served mainly by rail from Hunterston and by a coastal shipping service to a new inland container depot on the Manchester ship canal.  Bill Burns told the Committee that—

‘In the modal split that we envisage, about 50 per cent of the freight would go back out by ship to Ireland. More than 500,000 TEU of Irish traffic is transshipped back from Rotterdam to Ireland every year, and that is a market that we can tap into. […]The balance of the freight—about 10 per cent—would be shipped out by road and mainly for the Scottish market’

301. Although the Scottish hinterland would account for a modest proportion of total throughput, Scottish exporters would benefit both in cost and service terms, from the re-establishment of direct deep-sea container links to Scotland.  Julia Williams of Diageo indicated to the Committee that her company ‘would use it’ but argued that ‘The challenge is to make Hunterston attractive enough for some of the bigger shipping companies to bring their vessels to it. If they came, we would use them; there is no doubt about that.’132

302. Scapa Flow in Orkney is also being promoted as a possible transhipment hub for deep-sea container traffic on North Atlantic routes.  Unlike Hunterston, it would have no landward hinterland, but could be well-positioned to provide feeder services to the ports of northern Europe and the Baltic states. It would serve a different market from Hunterston and so not be in direct competition.  Bill Burns, the Managing Director of the Hunterston Container Hub, commented that he could ‘envisage only small overlaps’133.

303. If one or both of these new ports could be operated successfully and generate the projected traffic volumes and revenue, there would be significant benefits to the Scottish economy.  It is important to note, however, that doubts have been expressed about the viability of these projects.  Forth Ports firmly believe that the main growth of container traffic to and from Scotland will be on feeder services connecting mainly with deep-sea hub ports on the European mainland.   Referring to deep-sea shipping lines, the Director of Forth Ports asserted that he did ‘not think that operators will come to our doorstep’134.  Attracting these shipping lines back to Scotland may be difficult, particularly once the new containerised port capacity recently approved in the south of England is constructed.  Forth Ports, however, has a vested interest in the growth of the North Sea feeder market and could see some of its current container volume divert to new deep-sea services out of Hunterston.

304. Mary McLaughlin from Scottish Enterprise told the Committee—

‘we have done some joint work with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Executive to look at whether both the Scapa Flow and Hunterston projects could happen. The results of that work showed that there was such a demand for deep-sea container facilities in northern Europe that both the projects could be done. Some of the work done recently by the Department for Transport shows that even if all the proposed deep-sea container terminals around Europe came online, there would still be excess demand. That reflects the way in which the container shipping global market is working at the moment.’135

305. The Committee is not in a position to vet either of the new port proposals nor to speculate on the future balance between direct deep-sea connections and transhipment via European mainland ports. 

306. The Committee is encouraged that joint work by the Scottish Executive, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise has found that there may be sufficient demand for deep-sea container facilities in northern Europe to support both the Hunterston and Scapa Flow developments.  The Committee requests that the Scottish Executive, in its response to this report, should provide a comprehensive update of progress in this area.

307. Bill Burns, Managing Director of the Hunterston Container Hub, told the Committee that—

‘If we take in all the projects that we know are going ahead, including our projects and expansion elsewhere, we will be down at around 70 per cent capacity for about three years around 2010. However, the only reason for that is that all the approvals have come on line at once. As the committee knows, the Department for Transport held them back before granting them one after the other.’136

308. According to his estimates, working at 70 per cent capacity was at the margins of profitability. Also, while new port developments will be privately funded and the private sector will carry the associated risk, public investment will be required to improve local road and rail access.  Such infrastructural investment may be difficult to justify if the port proposals are deemed too speculative. 

309. The Committee notes the evidence from the Director of the Hunterston Container Hub that there is a risk of under-utilisation of capacity and believes it is important that in developing a ports policy the Scottish Executive should take the market position into account. The Committee hopes that Scotland can realise the potential to expand its existing ports as well as developing new facilities. The Committee awaits a report from the Scottish Executive on new ports whilst noting the backdrop of challenging financial circumstances. 

Development of Port Policy

310. The Scottish Transport Minister has recently indicated that Scotland will not be participating in the development of a national ports policy for the UK as whole. He  told the Committee—

‘I decided that we would benefit more from developing a ports policy with a Scottish perspective in our national transport strategy, which is what we will do. We have discussed the matter with the Department for Transport, which understands exactly our perspective. My officials on the ports side will continue to liaise closely with DFT officials to ensure that our position is well understood on any devolved aspects. Ports are integral to the delivery of transport throughout Scotland, in the context of freight in particular but also for other uses. I wanted to keep ports policy in-house, in our national transport strategy, rather than make it stand alone.’137

311. Bill Burns, Managing Director of the Hunterston Container Hub, told the Committee his views on a Scottish Ports Policy—       

‘Westminster, through the Department for Transport, is pushing for a ports policy, on which discussion is on-going. Most of the people to whom I talk agree that we need to do something to ease the congestion in our ports—we had a bad time with that last year. […]I am concerned that a mismatch might arise if Scotland does not have a ports policy or if it has a policy that is totally different from the overall UK one.’138

312. On the other hand, Alan Burns from Forth Ports questioned the need for a Scottish Ports policy—

‘I am not sure that there is a crying need for a ports policy. Ports act as economic drivers in and tend to integrate into the local area, whether through the enterprise network or by working in association with local councils.139

313. The Committee believes that Scotland urgently needs a port policy and accepts that it will be advantageous to tailor this policy to the specific needs of the country.  

314. Witnesses from the ports sector argued that policy-makers have not been giving ports and shipping sufficient attention.  Bill Burns claimed that road and rail had been prioritised and water-borne transport had ‘probably been neglected’140. Barclay Braithwaite of Aberdeen Harbour Board argued that, ‘the concept of moving freight by sea needs to be higher up the awareness agenda’141. According to Bill Burns, ways needed to be found to ‘get a level playing field for all modes of transport’142.

315. One measure which several witnesses advocated was the extension of ‘route development grants’ from the aviation sector into shipping.  Port operators are eligible to apply for Freight Facilities Grants and these have been used to support important maritime developments in Scotland such as the development of Rosyth as a ro-ro terminal.  Ship operators, however, do not qualify for such grants. 

316. Alan Burns from Forth Ports plc told the Committee—

‘Although the freight facilities grant arrangement can enhance port facilities, it also allows the port to offer operators a fairly aggressive tariff structure. However, the ship operators do not themselves qualify for a freight facilities grant, and in many cases support should be directed at the operators. In the initial stages, if an operator is taking a bit of a punt on starting a new route, a fair amount of risk is involved. If operators were given some comfort to limit that risk to a degree, many more speculative opportunities would be taken advantage of.’143

317. The Committee notes that Waterborne Freight Grants were introduced by the Scottish Executive in March 2005. The Committee requests further information from the Scottish Executive on the level of applications for these grants, the number of grants which have been made, and an assessment from the Scottish Executive on the success of the grant scheme.

318. These grants, which have similar assessment criteria to Freight Facilities Grants, contribute to operating rather than capital costs.  They can have a value ‘of up to 2 million euros (and) may be made during the first 3 years of operation of shipping routes which transfer freight from road to waterborne transport’) As Scottish Enterprise pointed out, in the air passenger sector the route development fund was devised ‘specifically to improve direct air services’144 and had a commercial rather than environmental objective.

319. The Committee agrees that more could be done to integrate maritime transport more closely with other freight modes.  It welcomes the decision to incorporate the new ports policy into the forthcoming National Transport Strategy and hopes that this helps to overcome what Forth Ports called ‘a lack of joined-up thinking’.145

Canals

320. Scotland currently has very few canals capable of carrying freight.  Opportunities for transferring freight from road to canal are therefore very limited.  Highland Council have nevertheless drawn attention to ‘the potential for barge freight transport on the Caledonian Canal… There is timber to be harvested alongside the Canal and the Glensanda quarry borders Loch Linnhe at the south end of the Canal’.  A £20 million ten-year improvement programme on this canal by the British Waterways Board has recently been completed and a trial demonstrated that it is now possible for vessels carrying 1000 tonnes to pass along the waterway.  East Dunbartonshire Council is also working with BWB to explore opportunities for moving freight traffic, particularly waste products for recycling, on the Forth and Clyde Canal. 

321. The Committee welcomes these developments.  It recognises that, at a national level, there is very little potential for shifting freight to canals in Scotland, but believes that, at a local level, the use of canals can yield significant economic and environmental benefit.

AIR FREIGHT

322. Total airfreight tonnage passing through Scottish airports rose sharply between 1993 and 1999, from just over 40,000 tonnes to 73,000 tonnes.  Since then the aggregate tonnage has been fairly flat. The nature of airfreight operations and distribution of air cargo between Scotland’s major airports, however, has undergone a major change over the past six years (Figure 6).   The main Scottish aircargo market can be divided into three categories:
image6

  • Freight moved in large dedicated airfreighters, mainly 747s, to and from Prestwick airport.  This market peaked at 43,000 tonnes in 2001, but has since dropped to around 29,000 tonnes in 2005, mainly as a result of the contraction of the Scottish electronics industry.  The number of services per week has dropped from 27 in 2000 to 11 today.
  • Integrated express services for smaller consignments and mail, which are now concentrated at Edinburgh airport.  This has been the main growth sector, expanding by around 8% in 2005 and, according to BAA Scotland, expected to grow at ‘3 to 4 per cent (per annum) going forward’.146 This has made Edinburgh the third largest airport for this type of traffic in the UK, slightly behind East Midlands.147  TNT, one of the main carriers operating there, said, ‘We deem Edinburgh to be a freight-friendly airport. It has no restrictions that stop us from operating. BAA was very helpful to us …. Working together, we created a good logistics facility there.’148  BAA has adequate land to expand airfreight facilities at Edinburgh.149
  • Cargo moved in the ‘bellyholds’ of passenger aircraft, mainly on transcontinental routes, most of which moves through Glasgow airport. Bellyhold tonnages declined during the early 2000s, partly reflecting the downturn in the electronics industry, though this trend has recently been reversed with the introduction of new long-haul passenger services by Emirates and Continental.

323. A significant amount of the airfreight channelled through Scotland’s airports does not actually fly in or out.  Instead it is moved by road to or from English airports, mainly Heathrow, to take advantage of the greater frequency and wider range of destinations available there.  In the case of Glasgow airport, for example, ‘15% is flown and 85% is trucked’.150 With the decline in direct services in and out of Scottish airports, some Scottish exporters have had to route more of their product via Heathrow.  In the case of one large electronics company, this has added an extra day to the transit time for deliveries to European customers.   The loss of direct services is therefore impairing the competitiveness of some companies’ distribution service.

Contraction of Direct Airfreighter Services

324. Members of the Committee visited Prestwick Airport and took oral evidence from Infratil, the New Zealand-based company which now owns Prestwick Airport.  The Committee was concerned that, if the airport’s freight business continued to decline at a steep rate, it would lose ‘critical mass’ and aircargo operations would become unviable.  The airport’s Freight Development Manager indicated that the freight tonnage had recently ‘stabilised’ and that ‘the point at which it becomes unprofitable (was)….a fair way off’.151  He, nevertheless, acknowledged that ‘it will be more difficult to turn the situation around and to start growing the business again’.152  This was partly because ‘more than 50 per cent of the business that comes through Prestwick does not originate there’.153 It is instead trucked between Prestwick and English airports.

325. Prestwick has several important advantages for an airport specialising in the movement of aircargo in dedicated airfreighters:

  • It has a good micro-climate with low incidence of fog
  • There is no night curfew
  • Its main runway is very long and capable handling full-range 747
  • Its runway can support the heaviest airfreighters
  • Rapid customs clearance and quick turnaround times
  • It has good road access
  • A range of aeronautical services are provided on or near the airport site, including several major engine maintenance and repair facilities.

326. The Committee commends Prestwick Airport on its efforts to reverse the recent decline in aircargo services and tonnages, but recognizes that it will be difficult to replace the large volumes of electronics traffic now that much electronics manufacturing has relocated to Eastern Europe and the Far East. 

327. There seems little that government can do to assist the airport management.   According to the management, efforts to attract additional services are not being constrained by regulatory controls. Nor are they being obstructed by the quality of road access to the airport. Infratil are interested in exploring opportunities for feeding aircargo to and from Prestwick Airport by rail.  Although the airport is rail connected, it is unlikely that the current volumes of air cargo would be sufficient to justify the introduction of the type of fast and flexible rail feeder service that airfreight customers would demand.

328. It was suggested that the Route Development Fund, which was set up by the Scottish Executive in November 2002 to promote the development of new direct air passenger services to and from Scottish airports, be extended to cover dedicated airfreight operations.  It was pointed out by Michael Dowds, Planning Manager of BAA Scotland that the RDF has indirectly supported the expansion of airfreight services from its airports of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  He explained that—

 ‘The Executive's route development fund and our route development fund have both been instrumental in growing the cargo business from our three Scottish airports, in particular Glasgow airport. That is because the long-haul carriers that have been attracted to Glasgow airport by the route development funds have serviced the routes with large Boeing and large Airbus aircraft, the holds of which are ideally configured for air freight. Over the past year, that has resulted in significant growth in air freight volumes at Glasgow airport. We continue to see the route development funds as a key enabler in maximising the air freight industry in Scotland in the next few years’.154

329. The Committee recommends that the Scottish Executive should explore the possibility of making route development grants available to dedicated airfreighter services. 

330. If operators of bellyhold freight services enjoy some benefit from these grants, there may be a case for offering similar incentives to dedicated airfreight operators. Prestwick’s freight operation has not benefited from the expansion of air passenger services at the airport in recent years because these are predominantly low-cost, short-haul services with very limited bellyhold freight potential and turnaround times that are too short to load and unload cargo.155 

331. The range and quality of airfreight links are factors that potential inward investors take into account in deciding whether or not to locate in Scotland.  It appears, too, that the competitive position of some Scottish exporters in international markets, particularly in the electronics sector, is currently being weakened by the decline in direct airfreight services. On these grounds, it might be possible to make a case for freight-specific route development grants.  On the other hand, we note that the express air carriers, operating out of Edinburgh airport, are rapidly expanding their freight volumes without any government support.

Annexe A

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
22nd Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)
Thursday 8 September 2005

Present:

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Fergus Ewing
Paul Martin
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

David Davidson
Dr Sylvia Jackson
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

Apologies: Euan Robson MSP

The meeting opened at 2.03 pm.

5. Work programme (in private):  The Committee considered its future work programme. The Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into freight transport and to consider terms of reference for the inquiry at a future meeting. The Committee also discussed its likely work commitments in the period to the end of the year, and agreed to publish its proposed work programme on the Parliament’s website.

The meeting closed at 5.13 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
26th Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)
Monday 3 October 2005

Present:

Mr Andrew Arbuckle
David Davidson
Dr Sylvia Jackson
Michael McMahon

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Fergus Ewing
Paul Martin
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

Apologies: Tommy Sheridan

The meeting opened at 2.05 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee agreed its approach to its inquiry into freight transport.

The meeting closed at 4.44 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
28th Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)
Tuesday 8 November 2005

Present:

Mr Andrew Arbuckle
David Davidson
Dr Sylvia Jackson
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Fergus Ewing
Paul Martin
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

The meeting opened at 2.01 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee agreed to appoint an adviser on its inquiry and subsequently agreed the role and person specification for the post.

5. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee agreed to hold visits and to hold a meeting outwith Edinburgh as part of its inquiry.

The meeting closed at 4.53 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
3rd Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 31 January 2006

Present:

Mr Andrew Arbuckle
Fergus Ewing
Paul Martin
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

David Davidson
Dr Sylvia Jackson
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

Apologies: Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)

The meeting opened at 2.01 pm.

4. Freight Transport Inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a summary of evidence and agreed a programme of oral evidence on the Bill.

The meeting closed at 3.56 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
6th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 28 February 2006

Present:

Mr Andrew Arbuckle
Fergus Ewing
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

The meeting opened at 2.03 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1
Alan Mitchell, Assistant Director, CBI Scotland;
Julia Williams, Category Manager UK Logistics, Diageo; and
Peter Smith, Head of Corporate Relations, Diageo

Panel 2
Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth Scotland; and
Colin Howden, Director, Transform Scotland

The meeting closed at 5.13 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
7th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 7 March 2006

Present:

Fergus Ewing
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon

Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

Apologies: Andrew Arbuckle, Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener) and Tommy Sheridan

The meeting opened at 1.59 pm.

2. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1
Gavin Scott, Head of Policy, Freight Transport Association

Panel 2
Phil Flanders, Director for Scotland, The Road Haulage Association;
Pat Glancey, Area Manager, The Road Haulage Association;
Ken Russell, John G Russell (Transport) Ltd.; and
Margaret Thompson, Transport Manager, D Thompson and Son Ltd.

Panel 3
Mike Hogg, General Manager Performance and Operations Development, EWS;
Graham Meiklejohn, Media and Public Affairs Manager, EWS; and
Kay Walls, Commercial Manager Scotland, Freightliner

Panel 4
Andrew Malcolm, Chief Executive, The Malcolm Group

The meeting closed at 5.11 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
9th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 21 March 2006

Present:

Andrew Arbuckle
Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

Apologies: Fergus Ewing

The meeting opened at 2.02 pm.

3. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1
Michael Beswick, Director, Rail Policy, Office of Rail Regulation; and
Sarah Straight, Director, Rail Markets, Passengers and Freight, Office of Rail Regulation

Panel 2
Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary, STUC;
Hugh Bradley, Member, ASLEF; and
Tony Devlin, Member, T&G

Panel 3
Bill Ure, Scottish Representative, Rail Freight Group

The meeting closed at 5 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
10th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 28 March 2006

Present:

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon

Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

Apologies: Andrew Arbuckle, Fergus Ewing and Tommy Sheridan

The meeting opened at 2.02 pm.

1. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1
John McConnell, Head of Property services, BAA;
Michael Dowds, Scotland Planning Manager, BAA; and
Paul Stonehouse, Freight Development Manager, Infratil

Panel 2
Alex Johnson, Commercial and Marketing Manager, HIAL; and
Donald MacNeill, Senior Transport Policy Manager, HIE

Panel 3
Barclay Braithwaite, Chief Executive, Aberdeen Harbour Board;
Captain Colin Parker, Operations Director and Harbour Master, Aberdeen Harbour Board;
Alan Burns, Director of Scottish Ports, Forth Ports; and
Bill Burns, Managing Director of the Hunterston Container Hub, Clydeport

The meeting closed at 4.18 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
11th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 18 April 2006

Present:

Andrew Arbuckle
Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

Bruce Crawford JP (Deputy Convener)
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

Apologies were received from: Fergus Ewing

Also present: George Lyon (Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Sector Reform and Parliamentary Business) and Mr Brian Monteith

The meeting opened at 2.03 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1
Councillor Alistair Watson, Chair, SPT;
Dr Bob McLellan, Chair of the Management Team, SESTRANS;
Councillor Bob Sclater, Vice Chair, HITRANS; and
Howard Brindley, Co-ordinator, HITRANS

Panel 2

Nigel Barton, Express Services Director of Operations, TNT

Panel 3
William Wishart, Director, Marketing and Distribution, Scottish Coal Ltd.

The meeting closed at 5.36 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
12th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 25 April 2006

Present:

Andrew Arbuckle
Paul Martin
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)
Ms Maureen Watt

Fergus Ewing
David McLetchie
Tommy Sheridan

Apologies were received from Dr Sylvia Jackson and Michael McMahon.

The meeting opened at 2.04 pm.

3. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1
Iain Coucher, Deputy Chief Executive, Network Rail;
Nigel Wunsch, Prinicpal Route Planner, Network Rail in Scotland; and
Barbara Barnes, Head of Customer Services, Network Rail

Panel 2
Jim Barton, Director, Trunk Roads Network Management, Transport Scotland

The meeting closed at 3.35 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
13th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 9 May 2006

Present:

Andrew Arbuckle
Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)
Ms Maureen Watt

Fergus Ewing (Deputy Convener)
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Tommy Sheridan

The meeting opened at 2.01 pm.

3. Freight transport inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Panel 1

Mary McLaughlin, Director of Transport, and Maya Rousen, Senior Executive, Competitive Place Directorate, Scottish Enterprise

Panel 2
Gordon Fleming, Integrated Transport Forum, Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland

Panel 3

Tavish Scott MSP, Minister for Transport;
David Patel, Head of Bus, Freight and Roads, Transport Department; and
David Eaglesham, Freight Policy and Inland Waterways, Transport Department, Scottish Executive

Panel 4
Malcolm Reed, Chief Executive, Transport Scotland

The meeting closed at 4.27 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
14th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 23 May 2006

Present:

Fergus Ewing (Deputy Convener)
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Mike Rumbles

Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)
Ms Maureen Watt

Apologies were received from Tommy Sheridan.

The meeting opened at 2.03 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry (in private): The Committee considered the possible contents   of its report on the Freight Transport Inquiry.

The meeting closed at 4.09 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
18th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 20 June 2006

Present:

Fergus Ewing (Deputy Convener)
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)
Ms Maureen Watt

Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Mike Rumbles

Apologies were received from Dr Sylvia Jackson and Tommy Sheridan

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report.

The meeting closed at 4.19 pm.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
19th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)
Tuesday 27 June 2006

Present:

Fergus Ewing (Deputy Convener)
Paul Martin
Michael McMahon
Mike Rumbles
Ms Maureen Watt

Dr Sylvia Jackson
David McLetchie
Bristow Muldoon (Convener)
Tommy Sheridan

The meeting opened at 2.03 pm.

4. Freight transport inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report. Subject to a number of minor changes to be agreed by the Convener and the Deputy Convener, the report was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 3.44 pm.

  Contents

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Volume 2

Footnotes:

114 OR Col 3593

115 OR Col 3442

116 Scotsman 21 October 2005

117 Amicus – written submission

118 OR Col 3442

119 Michelin Tyre PLC –written submission

120 OR Col 3560

121 OR Col 3704

122 OR Col 3704

123 Ibid

124 OR Col 3595

125 OR Col 3735

126 OR Col 3590

127 OR Col 3589

128 OR Col 3596

129 Freight Transport Association – written submission

130 OR Col 3602

131 Ibid

132 OR Col 3410

133 OR Col 3601

134 OR Col 3603

135 OR Col 3705

136 OR Col 3601

137 OR Col 3734

138 OR Col 3592

139 OR Col 3593

140 OR Col 3598

141 OR Col 3597  

142 OR Col 3598

143 OR Col 3597

144 OR Col 3711

145 OR Col 3596

146 OR Col 3575

147 Ibid

148 OR Col 3655

149 OR Col 3578

150 OR Col 3574

151 OR Col 3579

152 OR Col 3573-4

153 OR Col 3574

154 OR Col 3577

155 OR Col 3576