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£30M Brexit port pledge

The government has pledged some £30M towards improve port infrastructure, road and rail links to ensure trade continues smoothly post Brexit on 31st October.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the funding earlier this week with the Department for Transport calling on ports across England to bid for a share of £10M, as part of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, to help deliver upgrades which will enhance capacity and maintain trade flow.

The government is providing a further £5M to four key Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) – made up of emergency responders, councils and other public services – in areas with key freight ports. This will help them build infrastructure improvements to minimise any potential traffic disruption at the border.

While a further £15M will go towards longer-term projects to boost road and rail links to ports and ensure more freight can get where it needs to be faster.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are leaving the EU on 31 October and we will be prepared whatever the circumstances.

“As the UK continues to develop as an outward-facing global trading nation ready for a post-Brexit world, the resilience of our trading hubs is more critical than ever before.

“This £30M investment supports our ports in their work to boost capacity and efficiency, ensuring they’re ready for Brexit and a successful future.”

The PIRC competition will be open until 6th September, after which successful bidders will be given up to £1M each to deliver infrastructure improvements. For example, this may include providing more HGV parking and container storage space or developing traffic systems to ensure the free flow of cars and lorries.

The £5M for key LRFs is targeted specifically at delivering infrastructure improvements to manage road traffic around maritime ports with important trade routes with the EU.

It comes a week after the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced a separate £9M scheme for local councils and LRFs to support their overall planning for Brexit in local areas and major air, land or sea ports. This funding could include supporting the hiring of additional staff or implementing regional communications campaigns.

The Department for Transport continues to prepare for all circumstances after 31 October and has been implementing a multi-channel information campaign to ensure hauliers have the documents they need to carry goods into the EU.

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