Rail Freight Group (RFG) was pleased to respond to the consultation on the Transport for the North Strategic Transport Plan. No part of this response is confidential.
RFG has been pleased to work with TfN since its inception to help make the case for rail freight within the region’s transport priorities. We have been pleased with the clear focus that has been given to freight and logistics, including the Northern Freight and Logistics report which was published in 2016. We support this work, and the forecasts for freight growth which it promotes.
Through this work, TfN have demonstrated how effective freight and logistics, including by rail, are fundamental to growing the northern economy. This includes both direct impacts, such as employment in the logistics sector, and indirect impacts such as helping businesses to export effectively by providing enhanced trade routes. TfN’s work makes a compelling case for ensuring that the region’s transport networks are equipped for freight and logistics as well as for the movement of people.
The north of England is already a very significant region for rail freight, even with the decline of coal. Some traffic moves across the region, including bulk flows of biomass, aggregates and waste. Yet more travels to and from the region, including traffic from southern ports for northern consumers and traffic from northern ports to Scotland. Finally some trains pass through the region, for example from the Midlands to Scotland, helping to keep lorries from the motorways and strategic road network. In each area, there are opportunities for rail freight to play a greater role in helping to meet TfN’s objectives.
Click the link below to read the consultation response in full.