Rail Freight Group (RFG) was pleased to respond to the consultation on the Transport East Transport Strategy.
RFG was pleased to see the emphasis given in the strategy to the key themes of Decarbonisation to Net Zero and Unlocking Global Gateways. The Strategy correctly identifies the importance to the whole UK economy of the region’s ports. Two of the three largest deep sea container ports in the UK, Felixstowe and London Gateway, lie within the Transport East region and between them are responsible for the majority of maritime imports from East Asia with 70% of business through Felixstowe destined for the Midlands and North. The challenges facing the decarbonisation of long-distance road transport will increase the demand for rail freight services. It is this demand that justifies greater investment in the region’s rail infrastructure which currently has insufficient capacity to meet this demand.
We support the role of Sub National Transport Bodies (STBs) in shaping transport policy in England but at the same time would like to emphasize that few rail freight flows complete their end-to-end journey within a single region. It is vital therefore that the strategies promoted in this document are mirrored by similar polices in neighbouring regions.