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Issue Date:- 12 May 2008

Help for businesses to keep goods moving


MAJOR changes to transport that will help businesses to move goods and freight better over the coming decade were outlined to business leaders at a recent Merseyside Transport breakfast briefing.

The quarterly briefing, hosted by the Merseyside Local Transport Plan Partnership, is a key forum aimed at keeping businesses across the five Merseyside council areas up to date with transport issues.

Around 70 businesses attended the briefing, held at the Racquet Club in Liverpool on Friday, 25 April 2008, to hear plans for improving the movement of goods and freight.

At the briefing Ian Wray, Head of Planning, Housing and Transport at the Northwest Regional Development Agency, showed the potential of linking together the economic territories of Greater Manchester and Merseyside to create an economic hub on the scale of London.

Stuart Waldron, Chair of Merseyside and Halton Freight Quality Partnership, explained how many current and potential jobs in the region are dependent on freight. This includes many projects, such as a distribution centre on the old Parkside colliery site, that are awaiting approval and would provide a further employment boost.

Jim Teasdale, Chief Executive of the Mersey Maritime Group spoke on behalf of the maritime, freight and airport sectors and other stakeholders, including The Mersey Partnership.

He provided an update on the SuperPort project which will integrate port, airport and freight activity so that the Mersey will become an even bigger international gateway, with a linked national distribution/ logistics centre. He outlined how SuperPort will be developed by a strong private and public sector partnership, with major capital investment by the private sector, and appropriate support from the public sector.

Malcolm Bingham, Head of Policy, Northern England, Freight Transport Association, spoke about government policy towards providing new transport infrastructure.

Neil Scales, Chairman of the LTP Partnership and Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, said:- "The quarterly transport breakfast briefings are an important place for the business community in Merseyside to keep up to date with transport issues.

We have a £230 million, five year, investment programme underway to help build a sustainable transport system in Merseyside.

Part of that plan is helping businesses to move goods and freight to their markets. Through improvements in the road, rail and port network we are working to help improve the prosperity and success of Merseyside businesses.

But it will take more than just the partnership to deliver the key freight projects on the horizon. Private and public sector organisations working together have a key role to play in this region's continued expansion and development. The potential is huge."

Picture caption:- Left to right are: Neil Scales, Chairman, Local Transport Partnership and Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel; Ian Wray, Head of Planning, Housing and Transport at the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Stuart Waldron, Chair of Merseyside and Halton Freight Quality Partnership and Transport and Development Manager, Sefton Council; Jim Teasdale, Chief Executive, Mersey Maritime Group; and Malcolm Bingham, Head of Policy, Northern England, Freight Transport Association.

Did you know?

* The five year Local Transport Plan (LTP) runs until 2011 and is a £230m delivery programme of transport investment and service improvements.

* It aims to give Merseyside a safer, sustainable, efficient and integrated transport network, accessible to all.

* The Merseyside LTP Partnership consists of Merseytravel and the five district councils of Merseyside - Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral.

* TravelWise is the partnership's campaign to help people on Merseyside make sustainable transport choices - public transport, walking, cycling and using cars wisely.

* The LTP Support Unit coordinates LTP activity on behalf of the Merseyside LTP partnership.

* For further information please see www.  

Liverpool 08 sixth in Race 9 of Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race

Photograph with thanks to

LIVERPOOL 08 has finished in sixth place in Race 9 of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race. Leaving Santa Cruz, California, the team made the brave tactical decision to pursue an offshore course in search of faster conditions in the race to Panama.

Skipper Ben Galloway, 27, from Wrexham, says:- “I’ve had an excellent race. It was interesting to watch the majority of the fleet stick together but as per usual Liverpool 08 decided to run our own race making tactics based on the weather we were given at the time. As you may have seen, we went for the offshore route. Although we were not in sight of any other race boats, we kept pushing hard as we knew it would be a close finish especially if the race was called early. Which seemed to pay off as despite doing 300 nautical miles more than our nearest rivals, Uniquely Singapore, we steamed on ahead.”

Liverpool 08 crossed the finish line at 1709 GMT on 7 May 2008, six and a half hours ahead of the Singaporean team who finished at 2357 GMT to claim seventh place.

Ben says:- “The uncertainty of the weather and whether your tactics are actually going to pay off keep each race unique. We’ll see what the next race brings but, in the meantime, I’m looking forward to fulfilling a dream of mine and transiting through the Panama Canal. It should be good fun catching up with the other skippers and crew and maybe even having a few cheeky halves!”

Round the world crew member, Lisa Pover, 27, from Liverpool says:- “What a race this turned out to be. Although the wind never seemed to die down as fast and long as we thought for the rest of the fleet, as always I’m all for running our own race. Any boat can match race and follow the crowd. I like the fact that our skipper like to try something different to the pack. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You have to lose in life in order to gain. This time we only gained to sixth place, which is better than tenth. I wonder what another 24 hours would have made in the race. I think it would have been nail biting.”

Hull & Humber took line honours in the race from Santa Cruz finishing at 2022 GMT on Tuesday 6 May. It is their third individual stage victory of the 35,000-mile race which is being contested by ten internationally-backed 68-foot yachts. The winner, the team with the most points from the 14 individual races that make up the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, will be awarded the Clipper Trophy when the fleet sails down the River Mersey into Liverpool on 5 July 2008 as part of the city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations.

Clipper Race Director Joff Bailey says:- “As much as this has been a thrilling race for us to watch unfold at home, with the variety of tactics being played out and the really close racing, this has been a difficult one for the crews taking part. There is great skill involved in keeping a yacht moving in the kind of light airs they’ve been experiencing and Ben and his team have done very well.”

Because of the lighter than expected winds that the fleet had experienced since leaving the Californian port and the forecast for the coming days, on Tuesday the Race Committee made the decision to shorten the course for Race 9 in accordance with the Sailing Instructions. The finish line is now off the coast of Mexico at ‘Gate Angel’, one of several pre-determined gates included in the Race 9 course. The last of the ten yachts,, is expected to finish in the next 24 hours and the rest of the fleet are now motor sailing towards Panama, with the arrival of the first yachts anticipated on 13 May 2008.

Berths are now available for the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. For more information on applying to become a crew member email call the Crew Recruitment Manager on +44 (0) 2392 526000. The Clipper Race is open to anyone over the age of 18 and there is no upper age limit.

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