DfT Ports Policy consultation – Rail freight’s role
Freight on Rail urges local and regional authorities to respond to the DfT Ports Policy consultation which closes on 1 September. This short briefing is designed to help you justify the case for upgraded rail freight links with the major ports which can significantly reduce the negative impacts of increased port traffic.
In particular to help answer the Ports Policy consultation question below:
Q5-2 asks if the Government is doing enough to encourage traffic already using ports to make more us of rail and if not, what further measures might be taken?
on Rail briefing contains the following sections
- Shipping industry wants to increase rail’s share of port traffic
- Government funding for rail enhancements to ports - TIF
- Potential to increase market share
- Need to plan and implement rail enhancements ahead of port
- Need for even handed approach to funding inland rail and road
- The benefits of rail freight in economic, environmental and
- How rail freight can reduce road maintenance costs for authorities
Shipping industry wants to use more rail freight
will see from the following quotes that the shipping industry
wants to maximise the use of rail freight from the major ports,
because of its high performance and reliability.
will have to play a significant future role in moving cargo out
of the British ports… As an industry we need all the rail
freight we can get.” Jens Holger Niesen, MD, Maersk
and reliability of rail
to and from the UK's major ports is proving more reliable than
road. Dedicated K&N rail services from Southampton and Felixstowe
are recording 95% reliability levels, compared with 'low-mid 80%'
for comparable road haulage”. Peter
Ulber, Chief Exec. Kuenhe & Nagel 2005
Monague of Maersk commended the UK industry for achieving 98 per
cent on-time arrival at destination rail terminal. He noted that
rail was cheaper than road to many terminals and demonstrated
customer satisfaction. Maersk has trebled its rail volumes in
three years and with the volume increases the unit cost paid by
Maersk has dropped by four per cent.
from Rail Business Intelligence 9th March on same speech from
Mr. Monague of Maersk
stated that road hauliers raised their rates by 15 per cent over
the same 3 year period…. But reliability is even more important
for the shipping line. Out of 80,000 jobs (a box round trip in
the UK) delays attributable to rail in 2005 were 882 wheras road
delays amounted to 3336. “With road we have three, four
or five times more problems, that is why we do it by rail,” Montague
Transport Innovation Funding TIF to enhance links to ports
are pleased to report that a significant number of the main rail
freight priority schemes have been put forward for detailed consideration
as part of the Transport Innovation Funding Productivity scheme.
We welcome this and the recognition of the importance of rail
freight with relation to moving traffic, both intermodal and bulk
cargoes from our ports to key distribution hubs across Britain.
following schemes are being taken forward for consideration:-
Cross London gauge enhancements Gospel Oak – Barking gauge
Southampton to West Midlands gauge enhancements
Reinstatement of Mount Olive Chord, Liverpool docks
Teesport to East Coast Mainline gauge enhancements,
Humber ports/Immingham rail capacity enhancements,
Peterborough – Nuneaton gauge work, *capacity upgrades may
be considered for second year of TIF
is submitting initial business cases by the end of July to the
Government on these schemes for consideration for expenditure
in TIF budget for 08/09.
Significant scope for increasing rail’s share of ports’
following examples at the two largest UK container ports explain
the potential for rail increasing its share of the traffic.
Rail has current market share of 23 per cent out of the Haven
Ports with the potential to increase market share to 35 per cent
when Bath side Bay and Felixstowe are expanded, if rail enhancements,
both capacity and capability are implemented. This growth in traffic
could mean an extra 45 trains daily each way between Felixstowe
and Nuneaton necessitating capacity upgrades as well as capability
on this cross country route.
Rail currently has 28 per cent share of traffic and has the potential
to increase this to 40 per cent if the gauge enhancements take
place between Southampton and the West Midlands.
Rail upgrades need to be planned and implemented ahead of any
lead times for rail upgrades means that upgrades need to be planned
and implemented well ahead of any port upgrades.
The funding of inland links (road and rail infrastructure)
There needs to be an even handed approach in the treatment of
S106 type conditions on port developments.
Sustainable Distribution Fund
Freight on Rail urges local and regional authorities to apply
for grants from the Sustainable Distribution Fund. For the year
April 07/08 there will be a budget of £7million for water
and rail Freight Facilities Grants. It is not clear yet if the
Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) will continue beyond
2007 which provides around £2m in 06/07 for rail & water
for use in supporting aggregates movements.
The benefits of rail freight
a) To relieve road congestion
average intermodal freight train can remove 80 HGVs from our roads
– Network Rail
aggregates train can remove 120 HGVs from our roads – Network
facing road transport
- Road congestion is causing extended and less predictable journey
- Existing driver vacancies 47,000 with the average HGV
driver age now 55.
- Working Time Directive is estimated to require another
30,000 and to cost the road freight industry an extra £1
billion per annum.
- Taxation by distance and tougher emissions regulations
on the agenda.
and air transport do not pay the full costs imposed on society
Scotland’s national transport strategy May 2006 states that
of the problems that are caused by transport are caused by the
fact that transport users – particularly road and air transport
– are paying an artificially low price for transport which
does not reflect the full cost of making a journey. Car users,
for example, pay costs for their car, fuel and tax and insurance
but they do not pay for the external costs they impose on society
i.e. increased air pollution, increased noise, accidents.’
7b) Environmental case for rail freight
freight makes a vital contribution to protecting the environment
and helping the Government to meet its commitments to improving
air quality and tackling climate change.
To protect the environment
Rail freight makes a vital contribution to protecting the environment
and helping the Government to meet its commitments to improving
air quality and tackling climate change. Overall rail produces
less than one per cent of the total U.K. emissions of carbon dioxide,
the principle green house gas, compared with 21 per cent from
Tonne for tonne rail freight produces 90 per cent less carbon dioxide
than road transporti
Freight Transport: Average emissions in grams per tonne-kilometreii
Key: PM10 particulate matter of less than 10 microns; CO carbon
monoxide; NOx oxides of nitrogen; CO2 Carbon dioxide; VOC volatile
c) Safety case
is a safer way for society to distribute freight.
There were 28,864 accidents involving HGVs and LGVs in 2003: 9,958
HGV and LGV drivers and passengers were injured in 2003: 2,474
pedestrians were hit by HGVs and LGVs in 2003: 1,194 HGV and LGV
drivers and passengers were killed or seriously injured in 2003
- Transport Statistics Great Britain, 2004 Edition, DfT
Rail safety – 5 passengers died during 2004. 3,221 people
died in road accidents during the same period - Transport Statistics
2004 & Health and Safety Executive (rail figure excludes trespassers
Richard Eastman divisional Director for Network Strategy at Highways
Agency - Freight magazine interview May 06
“Many of the worst incidents involve HGVs. It takes
time to physically clear heavy vehicles from the carriageway and
by their nature, accidents involving them tend to be more serious”.
Rail freight can reduce road maintenance costs
Research commissioned by Freight on Rail this year, shows that
the case study county council, which spends a typical amount on
its road maintenance, could be saving as much as £770,700
on road maintenance each year because certain goods in its area
go by rail rather than road. The research makes a strong case
for local authorities to encourage more freight to go by rail,
particularly where they have significant bulk, waste or port traffic
in their regions, even without taking into account the significant
additional environmental, social and congestion benefits of rail
cause significant damage to the roads, which has to be paid for
by taxpayers. Transferring freight to the railways reduces this
cost. The damage done by heavy vehicles increases with approximately
the fourth power of the axle load. Using the fourth power law,
one axle of 10 tonnes (HGV scale) is 160,000 times more damaging
to a road surface than an axle of 0.5 tonnes (car scale). This
is why road surface maintenance is generally taken to be almost
exclusively attributable to the heaviest vehicles.
research carried out by MTRU looked at rail freight flows in a
single county and analysed what the use of rail there was. The
case study used specific freight flows to identify actual expenditure
which would fall on the local highway authority if they transferred
to road. It did not include costs met by central government for
the trunk road network, and thus focuses on impact on local authority
Allocated maintenance expenditure
All figures are per year for 2004/05
Millions of kilometres
Savings based on SLM values
sample county had a budget in excess of £15mn for 2004/05.
SLM= Sensitive Lorry Miles
Source: commercial data for flows; DfT Sustainable Distribution Fund for SLM rates per mile
Note: SLM includes some capital costs not included in County maintenance
Due to commercial sensitivity only summary figures are given in
i. AEA Technology for Strategic Rail Authority, October 2004
ii. SRA February 2005