By launching dedicated services to transport critical supplies, running faster trains and increasing cargo capacity, rail is playing a crucial role in keeping goods moving throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, according to FTA and the Rail Freight Group (RFG). The two leading business groups are praising the role of rail in supporting the public, logistics industry and wider UK economy as it steps up to deliver the essential items the nation needs during this crisis.
Zoe McLernon, Multimodal Policy Manager at FTA, comments: “I am impressed by the determination of the rail freight sector to keep goods moving across the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak; the industry is truly delivering for the nation. From launching express services dedicated to delivering essential medical supplies, food and hygiene products to running extended length trains to stock supermarkets, businesses within the rail transport sector have shown their flexibility, resilience and efficiency in the face of the pandemic. And with rail freight set to play a crucial role in the nation’s economic recovery moving forwards, it is vital government acknowledges its importance; operators across the sector must have increased access to the national rail network permanently. Only through this increased access can rail freight continue delivering for the UK.”
Maggie Simpson, Director-General of RFG, added: “Rail freight operators and their customers have been working tirelessly to supply essential goods to support our communities and businesses. The sector has truly shown why it is so important to the economy, and why it deserves its place as a key part of the UK railways. As we move out of lockdown, it is essential that freight trains continue to get the access they need on the network, and that Government provides the certainty for businesses to invest in rail in these most challenging of times.”