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Skip Navigation LinksMerseytravel > About Us > Local Transport Delivery > Initiatives and Activities

 Initiatives and Activities

​On this page we outline some of the key initiatives and activities being undertaken in relation to freight by the Local Transport Plan partners.

Urban Logistics Questionnaire (April 2013):

Mott MacDonald consultants were commissioned to assist the city region in undertaking a £10,000 survey of businesses in the Liverpool City Region to get a general understanding as to the role of freight logistics in their business. The survey helped to gauge their interest in tracking systems for their logistics and also in improving their environmental performance of their vehicle fleet. The survey was completed in April 2013. 

Urban Logistics Online Survey Final


There are a number of recognition schemes available in the UK. The three main ones are:


FORS - Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme

CLOCS - Construction Logistics Standard

However it was felt that for our local circumstances the ECOSTARS scheme was the most beneficial and relevant to meet our local issues.

The ECOSTARS scheme originated in South Yorkshire back in 2008 in order to recognise vehicle fleet best practice in reducing emissions. Since then it has had spectacular success and the scheme is now operating in over 7 UK locations and across 5 European countries. This is testament to the keen engagement of fleet operators and the foresight of all stakeholders in rolling out the scheme. The scheme is now expanding across Europe as ECOSTARS Europe.

Although the Liverpool City Region is not involved in the ECOSTARS Europe project, following an award of funding by DEFRA, an ECOSTARS pilot scheme is being led by Sefton Council in order to encourage best practice for fleet operators accessing the Port of Liverpool in order to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions on routes into the port. Emissions from HGVs have been shown to be a significant contributor to pollution levels in three of Sefton's Air Quality Management Areas. Current proposals for increases in cargo through the Port of Liverpool will lead to a doubling of container cargoes moved by HGV by 2030.

ECOSTARS is a scheme for working with vehicle fleets to encourage and award best practice in fleet composition and operational management to reduce fuel consumption, reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality. The project aims to recruit a minimum of 40 freight haulage firms operating to and from the Port of Liverpool in Sefton into an ECOSTARS fleet recognition scheme. The firms will be identified from Sefton's existing database and will be assessed and graded in relation to their envirionmental effects according to their fleet composition and operational management. Firms will then be provided with a road-map of improvements prior to a re-assessment.

If this is project is successful, then there may be scope to expand it to more fleet operators serving freight sites across the Liverpool City Region.

Liverpool City Region Freight Study (Feb 2014):

The city region appointed MDS Transmodal and WSP consultants to assist with a rapid overview study on freight issues in the Liverpool City Region. The report describes forecast growth of freight in the immediate future across the City Region (up to 2020) and also for the longer term (up to 2033), based on existing freight forecasts by the DfT (for road), for rail (by MDS Transmodal) and for ports (by both Peel Ports and MDS Transmodal). The Liverpool City Region Freight Study was conducted to address the immediate requirement to provide input to the LCR Growth Plan and Strategic Economic Plan and the Local Growth Strategy using existing sources of information.


Canada Dock Rail Connectivity Study (April 2015):

Rail access to Liverpool Docks in the Port of Liverpool is now limited to the Bootle Branch, connecting the mainline at Edge Hill to the docks around Alexandra Dock and north to Royal Seaforth Dock. However, in the past, Liverpool North Docks (i.e. the docks located north of Pier Head) in the Port of Liverpool were also connected to the mainline via other branches further south (now long since closed) including from the Bootle Branch to Canada Dock and another from Edge Hill via the Waterloo Tunnel to Princes Dock (and Liverpool Riverside rail station), while the whole length of the North Docks was connected by an internal dock railway that ran the length of Regent Road.

Peel Ports’ plans for the Port of Liverpool assume a substantial increase in the volume to be carried by rail in light of major developments such as the new Liverpool 2 Container Terminal and the larger new G4 ships entering service with Atlantic Container Line (ACL). These developments are set within the context of the wider Superport Liverpool initiative led by the LEP and the city region. City region stakeholders and local communities are also expressing a desire to see modal shift from road to rail.

Given these aspirations, the issue has arisen as to whether the access from Canada Dock should be at least protected from development that would prevent its reopening. MDS Transmodal were commissioned by Merseytravel on behalf of the city region partners to undertake a feasibility and demand study into options for rail connectivity to the Canada Dock area of the Port of Liverpool. This report was completed in April 2015.


Canada Dock Rail Connectivity Study 2015 

LCR Alternative Fuels Strategy (Jan 2016):
On behalf of the Liverpool City Region, Sefton Council has commissioned Element Energy to conduct a feasibility study for gas refuelling infrastructure in the LCR, identifying the potential demand and setting out a business case. The council has also commissioned the development of an Alternative Fuels Strategy that looks at longer term opportunities for adoption of alternative vehicle technologies, to bring reduced HGV emissions levels in Sefton and across the LCR.
This study considers the possible uptake and emissions impacts of a range of alternative HGV technologies, including gas vehicles, retrofit technology, cleaner fuels, and zero emission vehicles such as electric and hydrogen HGVs. The potential uptake and impacts of alternative fuel buses are also assessed, as buses make a significant contribution to air pollution in some areas within the Liverpool City Region.
Potential demand and key barriers to uptake of these technologies were identified through consultation with local fleet operators and other key stakeholders in the area, including Peel Ports, the operator of the port of Liverpool. The demand consultation also informed a detailed siting exercise for future refuelling infrastructure, enabling the assessment of the business case for gas refuelling stations in the Liverpool City Region.
Based on this analysis, this report provides a series of recommendations for the Liverpool City Region, outlining the actions needed to support uptake of alternative fuel HGVs and buses and deliver emissions savings in key areas of the region. These recommendations form the basis for an Alternative Fuels Strategy for HGVs and buses (referred to together as Heavy Duty Vehicles, or HDVs).


A5036 Port of Liverpool Access - Preferred Option Announced

(Aug 2017):

The A5036 Port of Liverpool access scheme is part of Highways England's continued programme of investment into motorways and major A-roads. Once completed, the scheme will improve road access to the Port of Liverpool. They have now selected Option B (a new dual carriageway bypass through the Rimrose Valley connecting Princess Way to Broom's Cross Road) as the preferred option for improving road access to the Port of Liverpool.



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