Rail freight

04.07.17

Two-thirds of public support rail freight investment boost, poll finds

Almost two-thirds (61%) of people would like to see more freight transported by rail, a new poll released today has found.

The findings, released by YouGov, also found that only 2% of people wanted to see more freight transported by road in lorries and HGVs.

And 63% of respondents in the poll stated that they supported the idea of increasing government funding to allow more freight trains to run on the network – only 3% of people said they were against this measure.

Philippa Edmunds, freight manager at the Campaign for Better Transport, who frequently writes for RTM – and who commissioned the poll – explained that the results of the survey showed the majority of the public supported moving more freight by rail and less on the UK’s roads and motorways.

“This poll shows that the majority of the public support moving more freight by rail and want more government funding to assist this,” she said.

“The government is committed to reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality, and rail freight is pivotal to this. Rail freight might not be able to vote, but our opinion polling shows that the public support rail over road when it comes to freight.”

She added that although rail freight had seen consistent year-on-year growth, the potential for further growth was constrained by the current freight network as demand continues to outstrip supply.

On top of that, HGVs receive a large subsidy from Whitehall – adding yet another barrier to enabling rail freight to compete on a level-playing field.

The ORR is currently reviewing rail freight charges, but only one in 10 questioned in the YouGov poll stated that they agreed with rail freight charges being increased.

“The government is currently reviewing the charges it places on rail freight operators to use the rail network,” Edmunds concluded. “If it chooses to increase these charges, rail freight is likely to decline and we will see more lorries on our already congested roads, something that seems to have little public support.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Lutz   04/07/2017 at 11:26

Yes, people will always support additional Government funding for beneficiaries when the questions are structured to present the benefits, but they soon change their mind at the ballot box when they realise the cost to their own pockets. There is still a case for making the operators to contribute to the funding for the improvements to the SFN that they are requesting.

GW   04/07/2017 at 22:32

Yet again in this year's budget the government froze tax on HGV's whilst cutting subsidies to rail freight. A level playing field would be a good start.

Lutz   07/07/2017 at 14:31

@GW I think that is why the government acted to address concerns in the road haulage industry.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

14/12/2018Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

The Australian subsidiary of Network Rail Consulting has been named as the systems integrator for the Digital Systems Program in Sydney by Transp... more >
Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14/12/2018Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

 Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. The Financial Times b... more >
HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

14/12/2018HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

Two UK rail suppliers to major projects such as HS1, HS2, and Crossrail have admitted to operating an illegal cartel for almost seven years with ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >