International Gateway Study for the South West


The South West’s ports and airports are playing an important role in supporting the region’s economy and have the potential to unlock further growth.

The International Gateway Study covers both the Peninsula Transport and Western Gateway STB areas and examines the current and future performance of the South West’s ports and airports. 

Ports and airports are dealing with changes in the supply chain caused by the pandemic, the implications of leaving the European Union and adapting to the need to decarbonise transport.

Strengthening global connections could see an increase in the movement of people and goods. Ports and airports are not only important for passengers and freight – they are also centres of economic activity which sustain jobs and generate revenue.

The study highlights some key trends:

  • Ports and airports could diversify into supporting new sectors such as offshore renewable energy and support emerging activities in the space and aviation industries
  • Better connections between international gateways and supply chains could open new freight markets
  • Access and general transport connectivity to ports and airports via road and rail could be improved

The study sets out a comprehensive set of recommendations to strengthen the peninsula’s global connections. Peninsula Transport will use the analysis to inform the transport strategy for the region by:

  • Contributing to the development of the proposed aviation and aeronautical engineering Demonstration Zone
  • Facilitating communication between ports and airports with regional tourism and manufacturing groups to promote services, explore ticketing options as well as propel and scale new industries like offshore renewables
  • Provide clear, sector specific information on freeports
  • Make the case for the use and reinstatement of rail links to ports and airports
  • Engaging with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the consistency of data collection
  • Consider capturing Mobile Network Data to understand origins/destinations of goods to and from international gateways
  • Working with regional bodies, businesses and groups on alternative fuel production, storage and distribution


Find out more through the highlights report or the full study.