Rail freight operators seek Government support in seeing move from road to rail for freight traffic 

Acting on behalf of rail freight haulage companies and groups, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is hoping the Government will introduce new policies to help boost rail freight, which will bring a variety of benefits. Looking to the future, the growth of rail freight traffic has huge potential for the whole of the UK. In order to unlock this potential, Rail Delivery Group says it would need more support from the UK Government to help improve the current network and promote the switch.

To date, the UK sees GBP2.45 billion of economic benefits and 7 million fewer lorry journeys thanks to rail freight. With a positive response from the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, below are the following changes the Rail Delivery Group would like to see the Government make:

  1. Utilising the current network and assess the best way to maximise the number of freight trains able to run
  2. Developing and upgrading the rail network, using the latest technology to increase efficiency
  3. Increase the incentives for businesses to choose rail over road, for example opening logistics hubs like iPort near Doncaster
  4. Investing in reducing carbon emissions produced by the rail sector, by electrifying the railways one of the best ways to achieve this
  5. Maintain support for the railways in the long-term to achieve the full economic and environmental benefits for the UK and promote third-party investments

Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group Robert Nisbet said: “Throughout the pandemic the railway has played a vital role in transporting goods and keeping supermarket shelves stocked. As we enter the recovery phase, our roads and cities are once again becoming congested.

If government wants to realise its commitment of net zero in 2050 and grow the economy, it has to put in place the policies to incentivise the shift from roads to railways for both goods and people.”

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