Government funding for the railways welcome but key rail freight upgrades needed to service the economy, say campaigners.
Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager, Campaign for Better Transport, commented on today's Government funding announcements for the railways between 2019 and 2024.
"Future rail funding for maintenance and renewals is welcome but more commitment on upgrades to the Strategic Rail Freight Network would benefit the economy and help the Government tackle air and carbon dioxide pollution. Rail freight produces up to 15 times less nitrogen dioxide emissions than HGVs for the equivalent journey.
Every rail freight slot which comes available out of Felixstowe can be filled almost immediately as there is suppressed demand for consumer rail freight services.
Furthermore, the awarding of affordable freight access charges by the Office of Rail and Road, in the current review, is crucial otherwise trainloads of freight will be transferred back to our road network with all the resulting adverse congestion, pollution and safety impacts."
Notes to Editors
Railways statement of funds available 2017
New £48 billion funding for Britain’s railways
The Secretary of State's statement on SoFA
Freight on Rail is a partnership of the transport trade unions, the rail freight industry and Campaign for Better Transport
Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).