RFG today welcomed Government’s announcement that improved freight capacity and electrification is to be developed as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.
With a further £589m now committed to the project, an Integrated Rail Plan will consider how freight capacity can be provided as part of the core scheme.
However, with the plan not due till December, RFG are urging Government to ensure that freight enhancements to deliver capacity and gauge clearance are accelerated to ensure they can be delivered as part of the already committed scheme. Most of these enhancements have already been studied and scoped in concept.
Ports and businesses across the North of England have been working with RFG to make the case for improved rail freight links on the Transpennine routes. New rail freight services will support post-Covid recovery, and help develop new trade routes post Brexit, delivering economic growth in the region. By removing hundreds of HGV movements from the road network, rail freight will also help deliver the green recovery, reducing carbon and air quality emissions.
Mike Hogg, RFG Northern Representative, said: “We are pleased to see Government has listened to businesses who have clearly set out their aspirations to use more rail freight as part of their distribution networks. This project is vital in ensuring that those companies can deliver for the economy of the North, whilst also decarbonising their transport links.”
Maggie Simpson RFG Director-General, said: “Businesses across the North are biting at the bit to integrate rail into their distribution networks. Today’s announcement is a welcome step forward, but Government must keep the pressure on and move from development to confirmed delivery as soon as possible.”