Response to Radlett Rail Freight interchange Consultation
Proposed Rail Freight Public Open Space And Community Forest Sites North Orbital Road Chiswell Green St Albans Hertfordshire
Planning ref: 5/2017/1938 and 5/2017/1995
Freight on Rail supports both applications.
Case Officer: Please see website
Location: Proposed Rail Freight Public Open Space And Community Forest Sites North Orbital Road Chiswell Green St Albans Hertfordshire
Proposal: Approval of Reserved Matters (Development) of outline planning permission 5/2009/0708 allowed at appeal dated 14/07/2014 for the development of Strategic Rail Freight Interchange comprising intermodal area, distribution buildings (Class B8 use) and other
Freight on Rail, a partnership of the rail freight industry, the transport trade unions and Campaign for Better Transport, works to promote the economic, social and environmental benefits of rail freight to local, devolved and central Government in the UK and to the European Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers.
Rail freight is worth £1.6 billion per year to the UK economy 2. A quarter of consumer goods imported into the UK are transported by rail and this traffic can grow if there are more rail/road transfer points.
Rail has a growing market in consumer freight, which grew 7% last quarter compared to the previous year’s quarter – the highest level since 1998 3; it has grown by 30% in last 10 years and is forecast to grow fourfold by 2043 if rail freight terminals like Radlett are built to cater for the traffic.
In order to increase rail freight, which is part of the Government’s strategy to reduce congestion, collisions, air pollution as well as meeting its legally binding CO2 emissions reductions, interchanges such as Radlett are needed at strategic locations with good road and rail connections, across the UK. Radlett meets this criteria. The need for more terminals was confirmed in the Arup report, Future Poten6tial for Modal Shift in the UK Rail Freight Market Page 30, 5.1.2. Terminal Limitations September 2016 commissioned by the DfT as part of the Rail Freight Strategy project.
There is a lack of alternative sites with good road and rail connections. The need for Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFIs) is recognised in national and regional transport and spatial planning policy. Namely in the National Networks National Policy Statement, the DfT Rail Freight Strategy and the London Plan identified that Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges are needed in London and the South-East.
Radlett serves the north London and Beds/Herts Bucks region. The effect of an SRFI there will be to have freight delivered directly into that populous and growing area by rail. Radlett will take off the road a percentage of the long-haul vehicle movements that run into the area now, potentially the European traffic when Barking Nodal yard is built. Malcolm who run the SRFI at Daventry, calculated that removes 64 million lorry miles per annum.
Once the train arrives, the loads can be broken down in the warehouses so that delivery trucks are re-loaded with location-specific loads. The consequence will be an increased incidence of full-load deliveries to retailers which are more efficient than multi-drops.
Those deliveries will be in a much shorter radius of the warehouse than they are now. Reduced truck mileage and therefore pollution is the obvious consequence. It might even be possible to use electric delivery vehicles on some routes.
Radlett is ideally placed for loads from Felixstowe and Gateway and good for Southampton. One train should be able to make two trips every 24 hours to and from each of those ports, once the Nodal Yard is built at Barking (2018/19) as it’s ideally placed to receive Channel Tunnel traffic.
The consequence of all of this is that a noticeable percentage of those long-haul trucks coming into Radlett’s hinterland could be shifted to rail. Secondary trips by road – to store or to customer – can be better regulated and made more efficient.
DfT Freight Carbon Review
The Freight Carbon Review is part of the UK Government’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050 and feeds into the Fifth Carbon Budget, which covers the period 2028-2032. In 2014 carbon dioxide emissions from transport went up from 25 per cent to 28 per cent. Surface transport emissions account for the vast majority (94 per cent) and of that HGVs contribute 17 per cent, despite making up only 5 per cent of road vehicles. Both passenger and freight rail together are less than 2 per cent.
The latest Government figures in its Freight Carbon Review show that HGVs are responsible for 21 per cent of NOx emissions while accounting for five per cent of miles driven.Rail produces 90 per cent less PM10 particulates and up to 15 times less nitrogen dioxide emissions than HGVs for the equivalent journey. Highways England figures show that HGVs are producing around 50% of the air pollution from road pollution on the strategic road network even though they only make up 5 per cent of road miles driven.
For example, the SRFI at Daventry in Northamptonshire removes in excess of 50 million lorry miles mainly off the congested road network. Daventry has shown that interchanges can generate rail freight traffic and local employment without problems on the local road network. A network of rail freight terminals offering added value services such as warehousing, is needed to make transhipment between road and rail cheaper and thus viable.
Very Special Circumstances which justify building Radlett.
Rail freight reduces road infrastructure costs for local authorities
Job creation and re-generation benefits of SRFIs
This investment will give the industry confidence to follow suit.
Radlett can be designed to minimise its adverse impacts on its neighbours.
2. Rail Delivery Group research ref RDG Keeping the Lights on and the Traffic Moving http://www.raildeliverygroup.com/files/Publications/2014-05_keeping_the_lights_on.pdf
4. DfT Freight Carbon Review February 2017. P43 Key messages