LIVERPOOL was built around its port, and, even though the docks have changed beyond recognition over the past generation, the city will always rely on its port for so much that is fundamental to its economic success.
That is why Sefton is securing cash aid for a vital dredging scheme for the Mersey must be welcomed by all who have the region’s best interests at heart.
The world’s shipping lanes are dominated today by an ever-growing number of cargo giants – post-Panamax vessels – that would be unable to visit Liverpool without the massive investment required to improve river access and port facilities.
Peel Ports have pledged to build a new £210m “in the river” terminal to accommodate these titans of the sea – but that was dependent on cash being made available to deepen the river bed by 52ft.
That finance – believed to be around £30m – is now forthcoming, thanks to conditional backing from the Government’s regional growth fund.
We must hope now that no further obstacles stand in the way of Peel’s ambitious scheme. If Liverpool is to compete against other leading ports around the country, then all vessels must be allowed access.
There will be an environmental impact if the nature reserve currently adjoining Seaforth docks is moved elsewhere to facilitate the expansion plans. But also consider how many lorries will be kept off the roads by the switch to giant freighter and rail transport instead.