SOUTHAMPTON port owners have pledged their commitment to plans to clean up the city.
Associated British Ports say they are continually looking to greener and more sustainable solutions to reducing their impact on the environment as Southampton battles to improve air quality in the city.
The firm said it was looking forward to playing a key partnership role in the introduction of the Clean Air Zone initiative that is due to be launched.
As previously reported, Southampton was named as the eighth worst city in the UK for air quality according to the World Health Organisation limits, prompting the launch of the Daily EchoDaily Echo’s Breathe Easy campaign.
He said: “While we are proud of the role the port plays in the region’s economy, supporting jobs and local businesses, we are alert to our responsibilities to the city, our neighbours and the environment.
“We are actively working with the council and the wider port community – stevedores, terminal operators, hauliers and the shipping lines – to support its air quality action plan and we look forward to continuing this partnership to make a success of the Clean Air Zone initiative.
“The Port of Southampton has made significant strides in addressing the impact of its operations but we recognise there is always more that we can do.
“We are the UK’s leading port in handling cargo by rail. The rail volumes are such that now 40 per cent of containers arrive or leave the port by rail – the best performance in Britain, cutting the number of truck visits to the Pport by more than 80,000 per year compared with 2007 levels.”
He added that the organisation also met international standards for energy management and investment in renewable resources had seen energy usage cut by 20 per cent since 2009.
Mr Welch said the port was also supporting the increased use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and shore power with trials of LNG refuelling already takingen place within the port and feasibility work into providing shore power for berthed vessels also under way.
“These are the fuels and the systems of the future and we are taking a lead in their development.
"I am confident they will help continue our record of reducing the port’s impact on the environment while supporting its ability to deliver prosperity for local people,” he added.