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Port operator criticises ‘short-sighted’ trans-Pennine route upgrade plans

PD Ports, which operates Teesport in Middlesbrough, has criticised the lack of provision for freight growth in Network Rail’s £3 billion trans-Pennine route upgrade.

It called the decision to upgrade the 76-mile route between Leeds and Manchester without any provision for freight traffic “unwelcome” and “deeply troubling for the economy and businesses in the North of England”.

Colas Railfreight Class 56s Nos. 56090 and 56087 power towards Knabbs Bridge, near Melton Ross, on January 9 with the 08.55 Preston Docks-Lindsey Oil Refinery empty bitumen tanks – a freight flow that would benefit from additional capacity on trans-Pennine routes. PAUL BIGGS

The port operator also said after “more than two years of assurances from the Department for Transport that rail freight was to be an integral part of the scheme, this decision represents a concerning last-minute reversal that would serve to negatively impact the growth prospects of the region”.

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