Russell Imrie: Make waves with ferry link

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As a trading nation, Scotland’s drive to sell our goods in Europe has always been at the heart of our economy. Scottish products, ranging from basics such as fish and meat, to luxury items such as whisky, are vital exports.

Ensuring that they get to market quickly, efficiently and sustainably is a key aspect of modern business.

Timely, cost-effective delivery can mean the difference between success and failure, so affordable, and efficient transport options are essential.

On Tuesday, SEStran, in partnership with West Flanders development agency POM, is holding an event in Brussels that aims to encourage businesses on both sides of the North Sea to use the Rosyth to Zeebrugge freight ferry service.

We believe it is a link that can make a significant contribution to the economies of both Scotland and West Flanders.

SEStran exists to develop a sustainable transportation system for South East Scotland enabling business to thrive.

In terms of business transportation, particularly freight, we aim to encourage the use of rail and water transport wherever possible, getting freight off the roads, reducing traffic congestion and carbon output, while ensuring that goods are delivered in an effective and timely manner.

Sea transportation will play a key role in this strategy, and South East Scotland is fortunate to possess Scotland’s only existing direct ferry link to Europe, between Rosyth and Zeebrugge.

SEStran believes that this unique resource must be utilised to the full. It has the potential to significantly reduce road freight, cutting traffic mileage and carbon emissions, while still offering cost effective and timely transportation of Scottish goods.

With more than 11,000km of coastline, using the sea as a highway rather than a barrier should be a no-brainer.

* Russell Imrie is chair of SEStran