Rail Freight Group (RFG) was pleased to respond to the HMT and DEFRA call for evidence on use of red diesel in non-road mobile machinery. The response follows our previous submission in May 2017.
Although we recognise that this is a Call for Evidence and not a policy consultation, RFG remains deeply concerned at the inclusion of rail freight in the review of red diesel. The ongoing risk of a potential future change in duty is deeply unsettling for our members, who already face significant pressure from competition on price and from other parts of Government policy on environmental policies and on charging. We are concerned that this call for evidence is not being undertaken holistically and risks further instability in the market for rail freight services.
Rail freight is well aware of the need to be environmentally friendly and to maintain and improve those standards. Indeed, rail freight is acknowledged as having a superior environmental performance to road freight, producing 76% less CO2 than road freight and producing less air quality pollutants per tonne moved. http://www.freightonrail.org.uk/FactsFigures-environmental.htm . This means that if freight comes off rail onto road there will be a commensurate increase in CO2 and air quality pollutants.
We recognise that all parts of the transport sector need to continually improve their emissions and reduce fuel use. Freight operators have fitted ‘start-stop’ technology in some locomotives, make use of fuel efficient driving techniques and have rolled out driver advisory systems in support of this aim, along with other measures.
Click the link below to read the response in full.