Rail Freight Group (RFG) is pleased to respond to provide this submission to the Union Connectivity Review. Supply chains are complex and often global in reach. All nations of the UK rely on goods imported from across the world and have businesses who export to other countries and distribute goods across the UK. Excellent transport links are important for freight distribution, whether that is from a port in Wales to a factory in North East England, a food manufacturer in Scotland selling to supermarkets who warehouse in the English Midlands or exporting UK products to consumers in the Far East or America.
It follows therefore that transport links across the UK need to support freight distribution, be that between the nations of the UK or within each nation. Transport links need to have the capacity and capability to support distribution and allow for efficient and productive freight movements. Rail freight must be co-ordinated at a system level, through a strong system operator function which allows for end to end journeys to be effectively planned and timetabled.