The PPR covers ports in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Among the main themes for consultation are national, regional and local policy; national capacity requirements for different types of cargo; inland and coastal connections; environmental issues; national and international competition; governance and accountability; the role of smaller ports; and planning procedures.
Dr Ladyman said: “International trade in goods accounts for nearly 30% of our GDP, and ports are overwhelmingly the gateways to the global distribution network. They are crucial to our success in a global economy. … [The PPR] should inform, and set the right limits for, future government involvement in what is already a thriving, largely commercial sector.”
The review comes at a significant time for the UK ports industry, with its biggest single operator, Associated British Ports, the target of a £2.4bn (US$4bn) takeover bid by a consortium led by US investment bank Goldman Sachs.