Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 11:40 UK

Review of northern freight routes

Freight trains
The workshops will look at all aspects of moving freight

Freight routes serving the north of Scotland and how they could be improved are to be looked at in workshops to be held in Inverness and Aberdeen in May.

They will be among a series of events to be held across Scotland.

The aim will be to bring together operators, businesses and authorities to discuss the key issues and ways of improving freight facilities.

Agencies such as Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government are involved.

The consultations aim to improve the links between rail, roads, air and ports to help Scotland's economic competitiveness.

Road congestion

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the study.

It said it was vitally important there was robust statistical information on which to base future transport infrastructure decisions.

Major improvements and expansion of Inverness Harbour are being made, in part to boost its freight handling capabilities.

Previously, it has also been suggested at government level making greater use of the Caledonian Canal to ease congestion on Highland roads.

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