13th December 2005
The Port of Felixstowe has today, 13th December 2005, applied for permission under the Transport and Works Act (TWA) to improve the existing single track Felixstowe branch line between Trimley St Mary and Levington.
The TWA Order would authorise the dualling of a four-and-a-quarter-mile section of the branch line, and the construction of three additional 24-wagon sidings within the existing Ipswich marshalling yard. The improvements will deliver the necessary capacity to handle the Port’s future rail volumes, as well as allowing the existing passenger service to be maintained.
Richard Pearson, Managing Director of the Port of Felixstowe said:
“We are committed to increasing the amount of freight leaving the Port by rail, and these improvements meet Government objectives to reduce pressure on the region’s roads. In conjunction with the third rail terminal planned as part of the Felixstowe South Reconfiguration, this will remove up to 500,000 lorries from our roads”.
“From the date the Application is made, there will be six weeks in which anyone may make representations to the Department for Transport. This period has been extended to take into consideration the Christmas break. In a recent public consultation, 64% of people were in favour of this scheme, which is vital not just for Felixstowe, but for UK trade in general.”
The upgrade of the Felixstowe Branch Line is linked with the proposals, currently with Government, to reconfigure Felixstowe South. The development will see the conversion of the area previously used by P&O North Sea Ferries into a new deep-sea container terminal, expected to create up to 621 new jobs, with a further 860 in associated industries.
Subject to the necessary approvals, it is expected that the improved Felixstowe Branch Line would be fully operational by the end of 2009.
Further information will be available for public viewing, until 3 February 2006, at Felixstowe Library and Ipswich County Library, as well as the Head Offices of Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.
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Port of Felixstowe (PFL) is the largest container port in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. PFL is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL). HPH is the world's leading port investor, developer and operator, with interests in 20 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Today, HPH operates a total of 242 berths in 41 ports, together with a number of transportation-related service companies. With industry-recognised core competence in the effective and efficient management and operation of ports, the HPH Group handled 47.8 million TEU in 2004.