What level of ambition is achievable and worthwhile for UK rail freight?

A new report published on 23 September 2019 by Rail Freight Group (RFG), explains how a new approach from national and local Governments with continued investment from the industry, could generate between £75-90billion in environmental and economic benefits over the coming decade which is significantly in excess of current projections.

Based on a review of existing literature, the report highlights that the key changes necessary to unlock growth are:

  • accelerated investment in the Strategic Freight Network to unlock capacity and improve train efficiencies 
  • electrification of core routes to further improve rail freight’s environmental benefits 
  • promotion of new rail-linked facilities and reform of planning law to support a greater rail uptake 
  • investment and support for new rail freight services including high-speed freight to city centres 
  • increased grants and access charge discounts to encourage uptake
  • mainstreaming rail freight in transport and industrial policy 
  • future changes to road pricing to support modal shift

Benefits would include reduced congestion, improved road safety and road damage, improved efficiency for customers, and significant carbon-savings arising from greater rail use.

RFG Director General, Maggie Simpson said: “With renewed focus on the environment and with new trade opportunities on the horizon, there has never been a better time to invest in rail freight.  This report shows how a strategic and targeted programme from Government, could encourage new private investment and unlock very significant benefits for the country.”

Read the full report here:

A report by Stephen Joseph Associates for the Rail Freight Group

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