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Soaring fuel prices and green pressures herald comeback for Britain’s waterways
Hannah Godfrey, The Independent
Britain’s waterways are on the brink of an astonishing revival – and some of the UK’s biggest trucking firms are leading the way. The UK’s long-neglected latticework of canals and rivers, which once helped to jump-start the industrial revolution, are poised for a renaissance.
Growing traffic jams, rising fuel prices and environmental pressures are driving the boom, according to industry experts, to such an extent that many shipping and barge companies say they have received more inquiries about transporting goods by water in the past 18 months than they have had in 20 years.
Some companies that have traditionally used roads are now appointing managers to mastermind their expansion on to water.
Eddie Stobart, one of the country’s biggest road-haulage firms, has invested in a port on the Manchester Ship Canal and plans to expand its waterways routes.
“It might seem odd that one of the goals of Britain’s biggest branded truck company is to get trucks off the road, but that is exactly what we are trying to do,” Julie Gaskell, a spokeswoman for the firm, said.
“It seems ironic that we are now looking to revive more traditional modes of transport, but new pressures such as congestion, rising fuel prices and the environment mean the old methods are becoming viable again,” she added.
(10 August 2008)
Fuel theft increases in the UK (video)
Channel Four News
Report on how fuel theft in the UK has increased significantly in 2008. For example, thefts of heating fuel in Suffolk are up over 1000%
Companies face crackdown on electricity greenwash
David Adam, The Guardian
Dozens of companies face having to report embarrassing sharp increases in their carbon pollution under government plans to crack down on greenwash.
The move could undermine the environmental claims of firms such as BT, which have invested heavily in so-called green electricity tariffs to cut their carbon footprints.
Under the proposed changes, companies using such green tariffs, which are also popular with eco-friendly domestic customers, will no longer be able to claim massive carbon savings by using power coming from renewable sources.
(13 August 2008)