The Chair introduced Mr Andrew Harston,
Regional Director for Short Sea Ports, and Mr Paul Ager, Divisional
Port Manager for East Coast, who gave a presentation about the
Associated British Ports (ABP) organisation, with the following key
· ABP was the biggest port operator in the UK and would soon be celebrating the 21st anniversary of purchasing the port of Ipswich.
· ABP provided a £5.6billion GVA contribution across its UK operations and over 84,000 jobs; 5 of the 20 largest ports in the UK were operated by ABP.
· Over 5,000 boats and 10,000 visitors came to the port of Ipswich each year.
· Ipswich was the largest UK exporter of grain, but also handled a variety of cargo, e.g. brick imports from Benelux countries, aggregates, timber, recycling operations for metals.
· There has been significant investment in the port of Ipswich in the Orwell and Cliff Bulk Terminals, automated lock gates for the Waterfront and use of solar energy.
· ABP have raised over £2million for various charities, sponsored and bought the ‘Ipswich Blue’ pig as part of the Pigs Gone Wild trail in 2016, and have also been involved in community work, e.g. tidy up of Ipswich Waterfront.
· ABP were broadly supportive of the proposed new crossings and would be working closely with SCC to ensure that the development would not impact on its statutory duty to operate the port.
Future development of the island site, 21 acres on the Wet Dock,
would be enhanced by the delivery of the 3 crossings, as this site
could currently only be accessed via Stoke Bridge. ABP had appointed consultants to look at the
future use and opportunities for this site.
Councillor Debman: Would there be an opportunity in the future to
develop businesses on the east bank towards the Orwell Bridge and
provide an access road up to the Orwell Bridge?
The land there, comprising the former power station land and Anglian Water plant, was not easy to develop. Significant business investment would be needed throughout the site to support a requirement for an access road. A more likely use would be ancillary storage, e.g. for timber, which could free up land on the quays.
Councillor Connelly: The normal route for lorries accessing the
port was via Landseer Road and Toller Road; how will the Upper
Orwell Crossings affect lorry movements?
The designs were only just emerging following confirmation of the alignment and further traffic assessment would be undertaken. Vehicles would access the port via Cliff Road rather than Toller Road and this roundabout would need to be redesigned; consideration would also need to be given to the unrestricted parking on Cliff Road.
Councillor Cook: Similarly, in light of the additional vehicle
movements anticipated on Cliff Lane, parking restrictions may be
required, and also on the Rivers estate.
There was still a lot of work to be done. If Cliff Road was to be the HGV route, there would need to be sufficient space for 2 lorries to pass each other. The transport modelling would predict the level of traffic on Cliff Lane and other routes.