RFG gives cautious welcome to Government Rail Strategy

Rail Freight Group (RFG) has welcomed the continued support for rail freight outlined in Government’s new rail strategy, in particular the commitment to rail freight as part of the long-term rail vision, and continued investment to develop a fit for purpose rail freight network. The document builds on the Government’s Rail Freight Strategy published last year, and highlights how the industry can work together to achieve growth.
However the plans for regional rail partnerships, which give greater control of the infrastructure to passenger franchises, are uncomfortable for freight businesses and customers, who operate across the national rail network, and who expect the infrastructure to be managed impartially. 
Maggie Simpson, RFG Executive Director, said: “Government has set out a clear vision for rail freight as a core part of the nation’s railways. We now need to understand how regional partnerships will support freight growth, alongside Network Rail’s FNPO route and system operator. We will be encouraging Department for Transport to consider explicit targets in partnership contracts, to require named senior individuals with responsibility for freight, and to support enhanced governance between different parts of the industry to ensure that Government’s vision for rail freight can be delivered on the ground.”