Port boss sets out road safety plan 'for the long haul'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 15 Mar 2018

ABP has brought the region’s hauliers together in an industry first, with the aim of keeping drivers safe either side of the port gates.

Immingham, the UK’s largest port by tonnage, welcomes and waves off 2,000 lorries a day, as cargoes head to or from the quaysides and terminals, transporting all manner of imported and exported goods. 

From 40ft containers packed with consumer electronics destined for high street retailers, to car transporters and huge tippers filled with coal for regional power stations, road plays a vital role in keeping the huge economic driver functioning.

And as such, the Humber has become a haulage hotspot, with a concentration of companies.

Building on an internal Beyond Zero safety campaign, senior managers from more than 50 regional haulage firms were brought together at Catch in Stallingborough to learn about initiatives, while being invited commit to their own safety pledges in a first forum of its kind.

Grimsby and Immingham port manager Mark Frith proposed the initiative. He said: “Since starting my position here in Immingham, my main focus has been to improve the safety on our roads. Several thousand lorries a day start or end their journey with us on the port and we’re making it our mission to ensure that the drivers of these lorries are able to go home to their families at the end of their working day. 

“We know that the lorries that attend our port are helping us to fulfil our company ethos in ‘keeping Britain trading’. The drivers are the ones who deliver fertiliser to local farms, food to supermarkets and building materials to the construction trade. On their travels, they will pass hundreds of thousands of other drivers and so by introducing these initiatives, we hope that the ripple effect will keep the general public safe too.” 

Read more: ABP invests £250k on cutting-edge engineering facility in Hull

Starting with an introduction from ABP, the group were then invited to meet with the partnership agencies, who have agreed to work collaboratively with the port.

Richard Marshall, regional director of Highways England, spoke to the group about their approach to safety. He said: “In working together this partnership is helping to improve safety on our roads and will encourage people to improve how they drive. This initiative will help improve safety not only in this area, but can be exported and used as best practice for the many drivers who use our network.

“Highways England is working with partners to promote the Driving for Better Business programme as well as other initiatives around tyre safety and vehicle checks.”

The initiatives, being led by ABP, were introduced to the group. These projects will see preventative measures being put in place to lessen the likelihood of incidents taking place on the roads, which may have been avoidable. 

Read more: New thrice-weekly service to link Hull and Amsterdam as container traffic booms

Regular roadworthiness checks of wagons will be conducted across the port and offered free of charge to the haulage sector. For example, tyre tread readers will be installed at security entrances to the port, where it is hoped that this proactive approach will see traffic harm incidents decrease. 

It comes as road links with Port of Immingham have been significantly improved in the past year, with the completion of the dualling of the A160 to the western entrance, and the extension of the A1173 from the Stallingborough interchange, taking traffic destined for southern routes away from Immingham town centre. A strategic link road between the ports of Grimsby and Immingham is now being brought forward.

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