Freight on Railfreight on rail
homewho we arehot topicsfacts & figurespress releasesno mega trucksconsultationscontact

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 isa crucial part of the supply chain solution for UK freight distributionon economic, safety and environmental grounds, as confirmed by the Government in its latest Department for Transport Rail Freight Strategy 1. SRFIs are an intrinsic element of shifting more freight to rail as they enable rail to compete with HGVs by reducing the transhipment costs between the modes. Road and rail complement each other so it is important that each mode plays to its strengths. Rail is well placed to offer the long distance trunk haul for consumer rail freight and has a growing market in this sector, which Radlett is designed to handle.

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
As rail freight produces 76% less CO2 emissions than the equivalent HGV journey, rail freight is an important part of the DfT’s policy to reduce freight’s emissions. The DfT Freight Carbon Review published in February 2017has important statistics, which further the case for further government support for rail freight on socio-economic grounds as this DfT quote states shifting freight from road to rail can result in significant CHG emission savings as well as economic and safety co-benefits 4.

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.

Air Pollution
Rail freight can be part of the solution to reduce air pollution. Currently, 40,000 people die prematurely in the UK from diesel fumes wide-spread air quality violations, especially in cities like London and Manchester which are already exceeding their NOX emissions limits.

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.

Road Congestion
TheDfT Rail Freight Strategy states that rail freight is a major part of Government policy to reduce road congestion which is adversely affects productivity. An average freight train from Radlett could remove 77 HGVs from congested strategic roads.  

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.
Because of the lack of suitable sites around this area, there is a very special case for building Radlett in the green belt because of its soci0-economic benefits to the area, regionally and UK PLC as a whole.Radlett interchange can reduce HGVs from routes such as A1M, M1 and M25 as it will reduce traffic coming from the three main ports of Southampton, Felixstowe and London Gateway as the traffic can then come by rail.

Road Safety
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 reduces road infrastructure costs for local authorities
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
Terminals/interchanges are the developers’ contribution to the economy. Radlett 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.

Radlett can be designed to minimise its adverse impacts on its neighbours.

1. Rail Freight Strategy September 2016

2. Rail Delivery Group research ref RDG Keeping the Lights on and the Traffic Moving
RDG Freight Britain


4. DfT Freight Carbon Review February 2017. P43 Key messages

Copyright © Freight on Rail 2001-2018