Nearly 80 Tour de France support vehicles destined for the upcoming Grand Départ made their way through Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Hull this morning.
The cars, trucks and people carriers formed a convoy that will be used during the Yorkshire stages of the world’s most famous bicycle race and all made their way to God’s Own Country via P&O Ferries’ Zeebrugge and Rotterdam services.
The cars contained vital spares and catering equipment, as well as some of the race officials.
Also along for the ride was Cyrille Tricart, Head of Operations for the Tour de France, who met with civic dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Hull and Admiral of the Humber Councillor Mary Glew, and Councillor Jane Evison, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment and Inequalities at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Cllr Glew was delighted to welcome the convoy to the city and even brought the now-famous City of Culture bicycle along to meet some of the more serious cyclists.
She said: “I’m so proud to be able to offer a warm welcome to the Tour de France, and I’m equally proud that Hull is the first Yorkshire city to welcome a contingent of Tour de France vehicles and officials.”
ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas. ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.
- · Handled over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013.
- · Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
- · Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
- · Has 1000 hectares of open storage
- · Handled 119m tonnes of cargo in 2013
- · Owns 5000 hectares of port estate
- · Has 87km of quay
Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.
The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 65 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.
Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 53 million tonnes of cargo per annum.
£75 million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal will handle sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase has also created 100 employment opportunities.
The Port of Hull handles over 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the planned development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine manufacturing facility at Green Port Hull, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new manufacturing facility represents a £310 million investment and could create up to 2000 direct jobs.
The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.
More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports.
Ro-ro and container traffic represents more than 30 sailings a week to Europe, Scandinavia the Baltic and beyond.
The Humber ports handle more than 70 freight train movements per day.
Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over two million tonnes of cargo annually.