Commitment and ongoing funding for rail freight in Rail Strategy welcomed by transport campaigners.
Responding to the DfT Rail Strategy publication today,
Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager, Campaign for Better Transport said
“We welcome the ongoing commitment to upgrade the rail freight network in the period 2019 – 2024 as there is considerable suppressed demand for more consumer and construction rail freight services on key corridors. Capacity upgrades will remove serious number of the large long-distance lorries thereby reducing congestion, road collisions and pollution.“
She added that ”However, as rail freight is a nation-wide service with most of its services crossing regional boundaries, the expansion of integrated regional rail partnerships bringing track and train together, presents challenges. Both the System Operator and Virtual Freight & National Passenger Operator need the necessary authority to protect the rail freight industry. As part of this, the system operator function must oversee the national network and retain timetabling functions. Furthermore we believe that the new structures must be incentivised to support existing and new rail freight services otherwise rail freight traffic could be marginalised.”
Notes to Editors
Rail Strategy - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-strategic-vision-for-rail