Rail link to wine store cuts lorry congestion
BEP: July 29, 2010
A FIRM that operates Europe's biggest wine warehouse says it is taking thousands of lorries off Bristol's road network every year thanks to a newly reopened rail link.
The firm that runs the massive warehouse in Avonmouth has been part of a scheme that has reopened a stretch of track and a disused freight depot close to Temple Meads station.
Every year an estimated nine million bottles of wine will go through the depot on their journey to the Constellation warehouse.
The re-opening of the rail link and the depot means the wine can be shipped directly from the South East ferry ports, rather than driven across the country by lorries. Under the joint scheme operated by Network Rail and Freightliner, seven trains packed with booze rumble into the South Liberty Lane depot every week.
Trans Ocean is a world leader in the wine market and manages the movement of wine imports to the mega warehouse in Avonmouth, which is owned by Constellation Europe.
According to the company, the rail depot means at least 10,000 lorries have been taken off Bristol's road and motorway network – the equivalent of more than one million road miles of lorry journeys.
Simon Williams, from Constellation Wines Australia and Europe, said: "The new initiatives enable us both to streamline our supply chain operations and reduce carbon emissions.
"We are extremely happy to endorse and implement the innovative initiatives that Trans Ocean will provide."
Peter Willey, senior freight manager at Network Rail, said: "Britain relies on rail and the value of rail freight is considerable. For businesses, rail freight can offer a cheaper, quicker and more practical alternative to moving goods by road.
"Almost £700 million of social and environment benefits each year can be attributed to freight traffic on Britain's railways. For instance, around 80,000 tonnes of waste from Bristol are removed by rail annually.
"Without the railway, the anticipated growth in freight traffic over the next 30 years would mean an extra 1.5 million lorry journeys on Britain's roads each year. Each freight train can take up to 60 lorries off the roads and shifting traffic from already congested roads to rail will bring greater future benefits."
Other firms and companies in Bristol that rely on rail freight include Bristol City Council, Whatley, Merehead and Bristol Port.
Demand for rail freight has grown by 70 per cent over the last decade across the country. This demand is predicted to grow by 30 per cent over the next decade.
Government figures show that in the next ten years, rail freight could deliver environmental benefits worth more than £4 billion.