Rail freight priorities for Government in 2020

With a renewed focus on UK trade, and increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, there has never been a better time to support rail freight. Rail freight is fundamental to our ports, moving containerised goods, bulk materials and new cars from the quayside to inland locations. We underpin the construction sector, supplying aggregates and cement into urban centres and manufacturing facilities, as well as taking spoil for recycling and processing. We support supermarkets and retailers with trains full of consumer goods moving between warehouses and we work with the steel and energy sectors with regular supplies of products to meet their needs. Rail freight is delivering economic and environmental outputs valued at around £1.7bn per year through road decongestion, reduced emissions and productivity gains for business. Each train produces 76% less carbon dioxide than the equivalent journey by road and removes 50-80 HGVs from the road network. Traffic increased traffic by 3% in the year to April 2019 and there are strong forecasts of future growth, with the potential for even greater increases with a more supportive framework.

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