asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will encourage large retail and wholesale distribution groups in the United Kingdom to use canal, river and sea transportation platforms to transport non-urgent supplies, in order to assist in the reduction of lorry pollution on motorways and other main roads.
The Department for Transport promotes coastal, inland waterway and short sea shipping, and provides grant support for the modal shift of road freight transport to water. £23 million has been awarded in freight facilities infrastructure grants for coastal and short sea shipping projects since 2000. In 2005, we introduced the new Waterborne Freight Grant scheme to assist shipping companies with their operating costs. We also provide support to Sea and Water, an organisation which promotes the shipping of freight on coastal and inland waterways.