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By John Durant
A RAIL FREIGHT terminal opened officially last week by Transport and Warehousing Facilities (TWF) at Wolverton, Milton Keynes, may eventually develop into an inland clearance depot.
The terminal works in conjunction with the company's distribution depot at Leighton Buzzard. Ten other depots are sited throughout the country.
The Wolverton depot may eventually qualify for a Section 8 grant, said Bill Hill, managing director, and it may be developed into an ICD with the consequent advantages of Customs clearance.
In conjunction with the British Rail Speedlink service, the terminal offers a handling service both to arid from Western and Eastern Europe.
Its customers include household names from industries covering engineering products, automotive parts, electric goods, white goods, paper, plastics, glassware, foods, drinks, tabaccos, clothing and toiletries.
The Wolverton terminal includes internal sidings enabling TWF to handle products under cover; it has forklift and crane facilities, together with long or short-term warehousing and a 24-hour security service.
TWF traces its origins back to the beginning of the century. It operates more than 200 lorries moving products from small parcels to 100-ton indivisible loads.
Specialist services include national and regional warehousing and distribution, contract-hire vehicles in customer livery, hanging garment vehicles, specialist distribution for the drinks trade and movements of high-value products.
TWF is part of the Coalite Group, which has interests in the Falkland Islands, and the opening ceremony was performed by A. W. Beasley, a director.
John Walker, planning director of Milton Keynes Development Corporation, said the area, with good rail connections and just off the Ml, is one of the fastest growing development areas in the United Kingdom. He expects around 35,000 new jobs to be created there within the next decade.
Martin Brennan from BR Speedlink said that Wolverton and similar terminals are proving that road and rail are partners and not enemies.