The rail freight industry has called for a better joined-up railway, to ensure the sector can continue to benefit the economy.
Currently, the rail freight industry is responsible for for delivering £1.7 billion to the economy, and they believe improved framework is required in order to support a sustainable and successful rail freight sector.
This is part of the submission to the Williams Rail Review; through contributions from the likes of the Rail Freight Group, and Rail Delivery Group on behalf of the RDG Freight Board, the industry has urged the government to align policy across road and rail to ensure ‘a level playing field when choosing road and rail investments’.
The rail freight industry say this would make the job of businesses easier who have to transport goods, as they can use the modes that suit them; often, rail freight forms one part of a journey.
If there was better decision making regarding economic value of different services, it would aid decision making.
A coordinated timetable and national planning system are vital for the industry, which would bring consistent processes for freight operators, creating a stable environment; enabling seamless delivery of goods across the country; and guaranteeing flexibility for freight operators to respond to frequently changing customer needs.
Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Rail freight is vital to Great Britain’s success, keeping shelves stacked, the economy moving and Britain building, while being much better for the environment with carbon emissions kept to a minimum.
“However, change is needed to make the most of the benefits rail freight can bring and we need investment decisions to be taken based on a level playing field with road, with aligned government policy and a nationally joined up rail network.
“Putting in place the right measures to enable rail freight to grow and making it an attractive choice for more businesses will increase its already significant economic and environmental benefits.”