A new report published on 23 September 2019 by Rail Freight Group (RFG), explains how a new approach from national and local Governments with continued investment from the industry, could generate between £75-90billion in environmental and economic benefits over the coming decade which is significantly in excess of current projections.
Based on a review of existing literature, the report highlights that the key changes necessary to unlock growth are:
- accelerated investment in the Strategic Freight Network to unlock capacity and improve train efficiencies
- electrification of core routes to further improve rail freight’s environmental benefits
- promotion of new rail-linked facilities and reform of planning law to support a greater rail uptake
- investment and support for new rail freight services including high-speed freight to city centres
- increased grants and access charge discounts to encourage uptake
- mainstreaming rail freight in transport and industrial policy
- future changes to road pricing to support modal shift
Benefits would include reduced congestion, improved road safety and road damage, improved efficiency for customers, and significant carbon-savings arising from greater rail use.
RFG Director General, Maggie Simpson said: “With renewed focus on the environment and with new trade opportunities on the horizon, there has never been a better time to invest in rail freight. This report shows how a strategic and targeted programme from Government, could encourage new private investment and unlock very significant benefits for the country.”
Read the full report here: