Leeds inland port plan approved

Image source, Canal & River Trust
Image caption,
Aggregate will be the first material brought to the Stourton site in Leeds

Plans for a multi million-pound inland port to take half a million tonnes of freight off the roads have been approved.

The inland route using canals and rivers is designed to take freight from North Sea ports into the centre of Leeds at Stourton Wharf.

Harbour master Stuart McKenzie said one barge could carry the same load as 17 lorries.

The Canal & River Trust is now looking to secure £3.4m for the scheme.

Leeds City Council has given full planning permission and officials at the trust are now speaking to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority - which represents councils in the area - about funding and a planned start on the scheme in 2020.

Goods coming to West Yorkshire from Humber ports and Goole on the road networks currently have to travel about 62 or 35 miles respectively.

Leeds City Council said it was "a real step forward in helping to shape the city's greener, cleaner future".

Revealing the designs for the port, the Canal & River Trust said aggregate - material normally used in construction - would be the first goods to be delivered to the site.

'Quietly and smoothly'

Other goods and container freight would be brought along the waterways as the scheme developed, the trust said.

Sean McGinley, of the trust, said: "Our plans [are] to realise Leeds inland port which will have capacity to take up to half a million tonnes of freight traffic off the roads."

Mr McKenzie added: "It's a much more unobtrusive means of transport - one barge can carry the equivalent of 17 lorry loads.

"That will cruise down the waterway quite quietly and smoothly, it's not like 17 lorries trundling through the city centre."

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has not commented on the plan or funding application.

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