Rail freight Guidance for Regional Transport Plans February 2005
Rail is providing this paper on Local Transport Plans (LTPs) to
augment the DfT guidance, which makes limited reference to rail
freight. We believe that LTPs form a key part of the framework
to integrate land use planning and transport. We would ask that
local authorities undertake to consult with the rail freight industry.
Freight on Rail is pleased to act as a facilitator.
We have already
run seven regional rail freight workshops for local Government
in partnership with the regions. The final English regional event
is taking place in March in the East Midlands with an event planned
with the Welsh Assembly in June/July.
need to make sure that rail freight does not fall between regional
and local plans. It is important to bear in mind that rail freight
is extremely well placed to meet the key objectives of LTPs in
terms of congestion and road accidents reduction as well as improvements
in air quality, DfT Guidance Chapter 3.4/ Value for money Chapter
The following statistics highlight rail freight’s economic,
environmental and social benefits.
shows that rail freight’s external costs, ie excluding congestion
are eight time less per tonne kilometre than air freight and four
times less than road(i)
aggregates train can remove 120 HGVs from the roads(ii)
freight produces about one tenth of the emissions per tonne kilometre
indicates that heavy goods vehicles only pay for around 58 –
69 per cent of the costs they impose upon society(iv).
Lorries are almost entirely responsible for road repairs –
a 40 tonne 5 axle lorry causes tens of thousands of times more
damage than an average car(v).
In general terms the key existing and potential markets for rail
- Bulk freight – coal, construction materials, petroleum,
iron ore, iron and steel products, waste and containers
- High value freight – cars car parts food and drink
- Premium freight – express parcels and second class
- International freight – through the Channel Tunnel
LTPs should take account of frameworks for freight defined in
Freight Strategies, Regional Transport Strategies (RTS) and Regional
Spatial Strategies (RSS)
- Make sure
that the RTS and Regional Economic Strategy and Local Development
Frameworks evaluate rail freight thoroughly. Freight Strategies
are a good mechanism to achieve this. Ensure that there is cross
reference between these documents and the Local Development Frameworks.
(DfT Guidance paragraph 2.10)
- Make provision
to understand rail and road freight better through collection
of meaningful statistics and enhanced monitoring.
the major freight flows, the rail infrastructure, who the players
are and what could go by rail. (LDF issue)
- Take account
of the fact that rail freight flows normally cross regional boundaries
so that awareness of cross regional and national rail freight
flows are important. (DfT Guidance paragraph 2.17)
treatment between local and long distance traffic does not work
for rail freight. (DfT Guidance paragraph 2.21)
policy should encourage rail connected sites for distribution
and industrial development. Avoid the mistakes of the 1980s where
for instance major new car factories were built without rail access.
(LDF issue) . (DfT Guidance paragraph 2.31)
sites, especially those with rail connection for interchanges/terminals.
(LDF issue) (DfT Guidance paragraph 2.37)
new terminals and the upgrade of existing ones that have good
road and rail access. Expansion of existing sites is commonly
a faster and simpler way to increase modal shift. DfT Guidance
- It is important
to push for expansion, where feasible, of existing rail freight
flows as this is often a simple and fast way of achieving modal
and safeguarding the sufficient capability and capacity on rail
routes to ports should be a high priority.
policy should identify and protect track beds and sidings with
existing or possible future rail potential taking into account
PPG13 even where there was no foreseeable rail usage. For example
Surrey Heath and Beftonforth Ltd cases upheld PPG13* in this way.
- In rural
areas if lines are preserved they may be used by quarries. (DfT
Guidance paragraph 2.48)
- Have dialogue
with the Office of Rail Regulation to protect rail paths for rail
freight through conurbations.
waste strategies to use rail as the preferred mode for access
to larger landfill, incinerator or recycling centre.
funds to improve road access to existing or new rail freight terminals.
- Make provision
for road signage for existing and new sites. Proper lorry routing
can minimize the impact on areas around interchanges.
information across business promoting rail freight benefits to
FQPs relating to management of all modes freight traffic.
mineral strategies to use rail as the preferred mode.
- Set targets
such as number of lorry journeys saved and growth of rail’s
share in local freight market to measure progress.
- Establish dialogue with SRA and its successor.
B. What makes a good railhead?
To be effective interchange terminals must:
- Be on an
existing railway line – this sounds obvious but as building
new railway lines is extremely expensive there is little chance
of lengthy new lines for freight.
- Have good
road access suitable for HGVs – full –size lorries
need to be able to serve railheads safely and with minimal impact
on other road users.
- Be of sufficient
size – today’s freight trains are often over 500 metres
in length, modern handling methods safe working areas and value-adding
activity (storage, processing, re-packing) need space. There are
however examples of small profitable terminals around the country.
- Be capable
of 24 hour operation – a requirement of many customers,
which often means that activity at railheads must be able to take
place at all times. Residential property in the vicinity should
be designed so that sleep is not disturbed or better still do
not allocate housing near potential sites. (LDF issue)
- Do not underestimate the importance of this element, which,
if wrongly handled can kill a project. DfT Guidance paragraph
and understand local opposition and promote the wider environmental
benefits. DfT Guidance paragraph 2.45)
the right location and size, use green vehicles where reasonably
practicable, sustainable building design and landscaping.
makes a good freight route?
- To serve
freight customers effectively freight trains should use routes
capacity which provides time-tabled pathways for predictable,
consistent and reliable train operation.
- Clearances to take the type of wagons and intermodal units that
the customer demands.
Please do consult Freight on Rail if you have any queries.
Railway Union (UIC) 2000
AEA Technology for SRA Oct 2004
Oxford Economic Research Associates report 1999
Design Manual for roads and Bridges Highways Agency 1999
020 8241 9982
– Full Guidance on Local Transport Plans -
8 December 2004
Feb 11th 2005