Response to West Midlands Rail Freight interchange Consolidation.
Freight on Rail fully supports the Four Ashes proposal on the following key grounds.
Rail freight needs to be part of the supply chain solution for UK freight distribution on economic, safety and environmental grounds.
In order to increase rail freight, which is part of the Government’s strategy to reduce it legally binding CO2 emissions reductions, interchanges such as Four Ashes are needed at strategic locations with good road and rail connections, across the UK. Four Ashes meets this criteria. Rail freight is also part of the policy to reduce road congestion which is adversely affected productivity. An average freight train from Four Ashes could remove 77 HGVs from congested strategic roads.
The SRFI at Daventry in Northamptonshire removes 23 million lorry miles mainly off the congested strategic road network.
SRFIs enable rail to compete with HGVs as it reduces the transhipment costs between the modes. This application means that the SRFI network can be expanded and therefore increase rail freight volumes with all the resulting soci0-economic benefits.
Rail freight is also far safer than HGVs which are six times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal crashed on local roads.
Rail freight also reduces the road infrastructure costs for local, devolved and central Government as HGVs because of their weight are 160,000 times more damaging than the average car to road infrastructure.
Job creation and re-generation benefits of SRFIs
It will generate around 6,000 jobs with £10m business rates to the local authority. Typical job mix is 35% administrative/manual, 50% skilled semi-skilled and 15% managerial/technical. The British Property Federation report stated that the UK logistics sector had the following impacts GVA per employee £58,000. GVA per employee forecast to be £75,000 by 2035 which is twice that in banking and finance.
This investment will give the industry confidence to follow suit.
Four Ashes has been designed to minimise its adverse impacts on its neighbours.