Rail Freight Group (RFG) has today (20 December 2023) welcomed the Secretary of State’s pledge to grow rail freight by at least 75% by 2050, boosting economic growth and leading to significant environmental benefits by taking lorries off the roads, cutting emissions and congestion in the process.
In a statement, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Rail freight helps keep this country moving, ensuring our supermarket shelves are stocked and materials are supplied to our construction workers. Not only is it the most efficient and environmentally friendly way of transporting many goods but it helps grow the economy across the country.
“This ambitious plan demonstrates this Government’s confidence in the rail freight sector and I hope it encourages businesses to capitalise on the extra opportunities so the industry continues to thrive and deliver for our country,” he added.
The target is hoped to encourage further private sector investment in projects that will grow and modernise the industry.
Maggie Simpson OBE, Director General of the Rail Freight Group, said: “We welcome the publication of this target, which sends a strong message of support for rail freight from Government.
“We know from our members that shippers and rail freight customers want to move more goods by rail, as they look to further decarbonise their supply chains. This target will help create confidence to underpin their investments and help the industry develop and grow.
“Such an ambitious increase will require continued investment by Government into capacity upgrades across the network, however, and we look forward to further commitments to give rail freight the help it needs to achieve its new growth target.”
A link to the official announcement can be found here.