Peel Ports has spent £1m on infrastructure improvements at Heysham Port in Lancashire to keep pace with increased cargo traffic.
In the first six months of 2011, Heysham saw a 25% year-on-year increase in volumes. The port has responded with four new Tugmaster vehicles and resurfacing of the freight park and other improvements to facilities there.
Bryan Davies, Heysham Port's general manager, said: "We have seen a steady increase in our unit volumes over the last 18 months, however the growth in the last six months has been at an escalated rate. We are confident of further growth for the remainder of 2011 and have invested heavily in our infrastructure to accommodate this."
Heysham is one of the main freight links with Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Figures from the Department for Transport show that in the first half of 2011 Heysham Port handled more than 225,000 units, a 45,000 unit rise compared with the same period in 2010. The introduction of a new Seatruck Larne service, which in its first 12 months of operation has increased to a twice-daily service, contributed to the port's growth. It is anticipated that this service will handle 50,000 units this financial year.
Warren Marshall, Peel Ports head of planning, said: "The increase in port traffic and the importance of Heysham as a hub port to Ireland and the Isle of Man only highlight the demand for the Heysham to M6 link road. In this respect we continue to work in close collaboration with Lancashire County Council, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, and the Constituency MPs to secure this much needed and long overdue piece of infrastructure."