Latest Rail News

22.10.15

Scotland pledges to bring down the barriers to rail freight growth

The Scottish transport minister has called on businesses across the country and the UK to support Scotland’s government in expanding its rail freight sector.

As he launched the Scottish Government’s consultation document, ‘Delivering the Goods’, minister Derek MacKay said the key to the future success of freight is creating an environment where the industry can innovate and work together for the benefit of customers.

“I see a positive, sustainable future for rail freight where it plays a significant role in Scotland’s economic growth through providing safer, greener, and more efficient ways of transporting products and materials, opening up routes through which we can do businesses with the world,” he added.

But he recognised the issues currently facing the industry, emphasising the importance of valuing partnerships to overcome challenges.

MacKay said he had already engaged extensively with the industry and stakeholders, who helped identify a series of barriers that needed to be overcome to achieve growth – albeit not insurmountable ones.

He continued: “This is undoubtedly a critical time for the rail freight industry in Scotland with decline in traditional markets.

“Our consultation recognises this and I want to support the industry as it seeks out new opportunities and to help it grow existing markets.

“But the Scottish Government cannot do this alone, particularly in the current fiscal climate. To make this work, we need a firm commitment from the rail freight industry and its customers to work with us and together to deliver success.”

The consultation will run from today (22 October) until 22 January, and is proposing on a range of issues towards the development of a high level strategy on freight in Scotland.

It primarily focuses on the opportunities and actions for growth within new and existing freight markets, stressing the positive contribution that the freight industry makes to the country’s economic growth and social wellbeing.

The government is urging the rail industry and other interested parties to respond.

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