Could underground freight pipeline be the answer to port transport problem?

Could underground freight pipeline be the answer to port transport problem?

by Tom Martin (November 2021)

CAMPAIGNERS from the Save Rimrose Valley group believe they have found an alternative solution to improving access to the Port of Liverpool  - an underground freight pipeline.

Increased traffic to and from the expanding docks has put pressure on the surrounding road network and to solve this a dual carriageway is set to be built through Rimrose Valley Country Park.

The Save Rimrose Valley group want to prevent this and members  recently met up with experts from a company which specialises in ‘pioneering underground freight transport technology.’

The company is called  Mole Solutions Ltd and it has put forward an idea to create an underground freight pipeline.

This would see containers collected from and dropped off at a purpose-built inland hub next to the motorway network and placed into capsules which would be propelled by magnetic wave technology to and from the port.

This systmen would remove the need for HGVs to drive directly to the port’s entrance.

Initial findings have estimated that the cost of such a scheme would be comparable to road construction, with savings to be made on subsequent maintenance costs.

Crucially, the technology is electrically powered and zero emission at point of use, meaning it tackles both air pollution and CO2 emissions.

Mole Solutions Ltd technical director, Stuart Prosse, said: “We were happy to talk to the Save Rimrose Valley campaign about our technology and the possibilities that exist in relation to transporting container freight, or indeed any kind of goods underground.

“The need to maintain an effective supply chain and to decarbonise our infrastructure have never been more relevant, with the climate emergency dominating the news agenda.

“The Port-City conflict is common across the globe. We believe we have come up with a solution.

“We want to help and both we and our delivery partners are ready to help.

“We would welcome the opportunity to work with Peel Ports, the Department for Transport and Sefton Council to develop and deliver a system fit for the 21st century and beyond.” 

Stuart Bennette from the Save Rimrose Valley campaign said: “We are incredibly excited about Mole Solutions’ technology and the potential it has to be implemented right here in Sefton.

“Not only does it dismantle the case for constructing a new road; it would immediately improve living conditions for those living alongside the existing A5036 route. Everyone benefits, including Peel Ports.

“It blows apart the myth that this road proposal is the only option to cater for the Port of Liverpool’s expansion. It isn’t.

“This is a golden opportunity for Peel Ports to withdraw its support for the road proposal and to get behind a truly sustainable solution.

In doing so, they would transform how they are perceived by many of us living in the surrounding communities

“We hope they grasp this with both hands for the sake of their business, our communities and the future of our planet.”

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