The rail freight industry has set out what is required from the Williams Rail Review, if the industry is to thrive.
Transport Minister Chris Grayling announced the ‘root and branch’ review last year in order to transform Britain’s railways.
The review is being led by Keith Williams, former British Airways Chief Executive, who is supported by a panel of experts.
All aspects of the sector will be explored during the review, which will publish a white paper this year based on recommendations made, that will, in turn, be implemented at the start of next year.
And considering the importance of rail freight, a leading organisation has set out what is needed for successful rail reform.
The government is trying to reduce emissions with its air strategies; the Department for Transport (DfT) has been vocal in its desire to remove diesel-only vehicles off Britain’s roads.
The road network is vital for freight, but if rail provided an alternative, this could alleviate the problem.
Rail freight is already significant to the UK, delivering economic and environmental benefits to the tune of £1.7 billion.
In 2019, this is set to grow further, given customers include retail, industrial, and logistics companies who see rail as “a fundamental part of their supply chains and want to ensure that they can grow their rail presence and their businesses.”
The Rail Freight Group (RFG) published a position paper that highlighted the conditions that have to be met if the review is to work for the sector.
These include maintaining a national freight network; fair and equal access for all freight services; continued public and private sector investment; and the efficient delivery of new and existing freight services.
That final point is clearly important when you consider that efficiency is at the heart of all logistics – more freight on rail means roads are less busy.
This ultimately leads to less pollution.