Rail Freight Group (RFG) was pleased to respond to the Second National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) Baseline Report.
Effective freight transport relies on high-quality infrastructure, be that the road or rail network, the availability of fuel or digital connectivity. The NIC’s assessment of infrastructure needs is therefore vital in setting the framework for investment to ensure that freight can be delivered effectively to support economic growth and the environment.
The NIC have previously studied freight transport, and Government published its response last year. We broadly agree with the conclusions of the Government’s response, and in particular its commitment to modal shift to rail as a key way of decarbonising transport. The newly established Freight Council is also starting to address some of the underlying barriers such as the planning system and skills.
The recently published Integrated Rail Plan commits Government to significant investment in rail infrastructure across the North of England, some of which will be beneficial to rail freight. In particular the opening up of the Transpennine route to container gauge will be instrumental in supporting the regional ports have more effective inland links. This is particularly welcome.