MMS Workboats aims to take “25 lorries off the roads” of Yorkshire, UK with each trip of its recently converted canal freight barge – aptly named MMS Off-Roader. The barge was originally launched by Yorkshire Dry Dock as the oil products tanker Humber Princess in 1979, but will now carry up to 500tonnes of various cargoes – including steel, grains, aggregates and containers sized between 10-40’ – between Associated British Ports (ABP) Humber’s Albert Dock in Hull and Knostrop in Leeds.
The conversion work was carried out at MMS Ship Repair & Dry Dock in Hull atter MMS Workboats purchased Humber Princess in December 2021. The repurposed MMS Off-Roader measures 59.95m in overall length (or 58.7m between perpendiculars), 6m in moulded breadth and 2.95m in moulded depth, and has a load draught of 2.46m, a summer freeboard of 0.5m and a service speed of 8knots.
MMS Workboats says: “Two return trips per week between Hull and Leeds could potentially remove 5,200 lorry loads per year. This will massively reduce carbon emissions and improve road safety.” David Lowe, chairman of the Commercial Boat Operators Association, adds: “Britain’s waterways are an underused part of the transport network, with an ability to deliver heavy goods in a quiet but efficient way that helps keep heavy lorries off the roads. The run of MMS Off-Roader to Leeds is something to celebrate…[it] is the largest vessel to reach central Leeds for 30 years.”