Rail Freight Group (RFG) has today set out its priorities for the new Government and called on all Party leaders to include rail freight as part of their transport commitments. With a renewed focus on UK trade, and increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, supporting rail freight should be a key part of future transport policy.
Rail freight is already delivering benefits in excess of £1.7bn each year and produces 76% less carbon dioxide than the equivalent journey by road. With the right support these benefits could increase significantly, delivering even more for business, consumers and the UK economy.
Our recent research suggested that with the right interventions, rail freight could create £75bn-£90bn in benefits over the coming decade. To deliver this step change, however, RFG is urging the new Government to commit to five key actions for supporting rail freight.
- Put freight customers at the heart of the national rail network
- Provide capacity for long-term growth
- Support for rail decarbonisation
- Recognise the importance of rail terminals in the planning framework
- Encourage new markets and opportunities for rail freight.
Maggie Simpson, Director General of the RFG, said: “Rail freight is delivering for businesses across the country, and with trade patterns changing on the doorstep of Brexit and a focus on sustainability our customers are pushing for further growth. The new Government has an opportunity to unlock significant benefits through their support for our sector and our plan sets out five priorities areas which should be addressed. We look forward to working with them to take this forward.”