Latest Rail News

25.04.18

Government must commit to investment in rail freight connections to ports

Better connections between English ports could boost the nation’s economy, a new study has shown.

The study of England’s port connectivity found that improved rail links could provide more effective freight journeys between key economic areas and ports, which would in turn boost productivity, provide lower costs and give access to international markets.

Britain’s ports contribute £5.4bn to the economy and extensive government investment is already improving port access, with £235m invested between 2014 and 2019 to improve rail links.

Shipping minister Nusrat Ghani explained that better links would boost imports as well as supporting British companies that export products across the globe.

Alec Don, chair of the British Ports Association said that he was “delighted” that the government has recognised the importance of port connectivity.

“We hope the government will build on this good work, and future infrastructure and investment planning prioritises the free and efficient movement of freight,” he added.

The report offers a series of recommendations for the government, which it is hoped will deliver an ambitious vision for the long term future of port connectivity.

Chair of the UK Major Ports Group, James Cooper, explained that in order to maximise the value of investment in UK ports, they must be well connected to the rest of the country.

Phillippa Edmunds, freight on rail manager at Campaign for Better Transport, welcomed the report, but called on the government to commit to funding.

“This study acknowledges that upgrading the rail freight connections to our ports is critical to providing sustainable efficient freight distribution and identifies key routes which need enhancing.

“This study is all very well, but we now need action the government needs to get on and commit funding to these projects to make them happen,” she said.

Citing research commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport, sponsored by the Department for Transport, she argued that by upgrading the rail routes out of the two largest container ports, Southampton and Felixstowe, 2,000 large HGVs could be removed from the roads each day.

“Targeted rail freight investments work; within a year of the completion of the gauge upgrades on the A34 route out of Southampton, rail’s share of the market increased from 29% to 36%, showing that there is considerable suppressed demand for more rail freight services,” she added.

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >