RFG was pleased to respond to the Government’s consultation on Freeports. As an organisation, we do not hold specific views on Freeports policy overall. However, any move to create Freeports can be supported by the use of rail freight, and our members are keen to ensure that rail freight is a fundamental consideration of any new Freeport locations. Many of our members will also submit their own responses, or will respond via other organisations, and our response seeks only to focus on the rail freight aspects of their comments.
Many ports in the UK are already rail connected, with many locations making significant use of rail to link importers and exporters to the port. We strongly believe therefore that the Freeport sites chosen should have rail access and/or the ability to improve their rail links. This should be a factor which helps identify the sites chosen. Government should also consider how it can help enhance rail links to ports, including Freeports, through its rail enhancements programme, as described in its previous Ports Connectivity study.