Rail Freight Group (RFG) has called on Government to ensure that freight growth is at the heart of its new rail review, announced today (20 September).
The review, headed by independent chair Keith Williams, will consider all parts of the railway including increasing integration between track and train, regional partnerships and improving value for money for passengers and tax payers. The work is expected to take a year to complete.
In announcing the review, Government is clear that it wishes to improve passenger services but is silent on the vital role that the railways play in supporting freight customers including ports, construction companies, retailers and manufacturers. Yet any proposals to change the structure and operations of the railways will have implications for the freight sector, and this needs to be a significant consideration for the review team. By considering the needs of freight customers at the outset, the review could present a golden opportunity to support growth, enabling more businesses to benefit from rail logistics.
Maggie Simpson, RFG Executive Director, said: “Across the country, our members are hungry for more rail freight but it can be hard to deliver their expectations when there is an ever-greater focus on integrating track and passenger services. We need this review to put freight customers at the very heart of its considerations and find the right mechanisms to deliver the growth that our economy demands.”
Government’s announcement can be found here.