Rail freight

Freight sector modal shift from growth call for evidence

The freight growth call for evidence from Great British Railways has launched today (5th July 2022) and will be open for a 12-week period, until 27th September 2022. This will act as a guiding strategy for the future of Britain’s railways, especially regarding the evolution of the freight sector, as it aims to get views from businesses on how to increase the amount of freight that is moved by rail.

The growth of rail freight is integral to government plans for decarbonisation and achieving net-zero as it will reduce the need for millions of lorry journeys across UK roads. Current estimations show that rail freight accounts for a measly 10% of UK surface freight yet can deliver social and economic benefits worth £2.5bn for the UK each year. These economic benefits are accompanied with the environmental impact of rail freight, where the trains generate 76% less carbon emissions compared to that of HGVs per tonne of goods transported.

A freight growth target will catalyse the necessary investment into the rail freight sector, by outlining the clear ambitions from the Government, thus it will encourage the sector’s customers and investors to gain confidence in the shift in operations to rail. The UK’s net-zero targets are planned to be achieved by 2050 and modelling indicates that the trebling of rail freight by this period will equate to 14 million fewer road lorry movements per year.

Rail Minister, Wendy Morton said:

“With freight playing a significant role in removing emissions from our transport network, this new growth target will be vital for creating a greener freight network as we continue to strive towards net zero.”

Helen McAllister, Programme Director (Freight Reform) at GBRTT, said:

 “Freight trains have a key role to play in a decarbonised logistics system, and there’s scope for the railway to do even more.

“Research suggests we could need to treble the amount of freight carried by rail to help meet net zero commitments. This would also cut road congestion for drivers and boost the economy.

“This call for evidence will help us understand how much of the current and future market demand for freight could be met by rail, how we can make it even more efficient and sustainable and how we can connect to new customers.”

Kate Jennings, Policy Director at Logistics UK said:

“When passenger numbers dropped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, focus across the rail industry shifted to rail freight. But now, with passenger numbers returning, our sector will require support and investment to respond to customer demand. Logistics UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to establishing a rail freight growth target and is urging its members to respond to this Call for Evidence to ensure the resulting plans for the future of rail freight are clear and ambitious.”

Under the guidance of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, the establishment of the new public rail body: Great British Railways (GBR) will use the call for evidence to set the rail freight growth target, which will complement existing and future targets set by Scottish Ministers in Scotland and magnify the impact of rail freight growth nationwide.

To find out more about the future of British rail freight, please click here as Rail Technology Magazine recently interviewed Helen McAllister to discuss the implications of such a modal shift in more detail.

Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here

Rail Technology Magazine latest edition Jun/Jul 22

RTM JUN/JUL 22

Elizabeth Line: Stations and Their Innovations

The anticipated June/July edition of RTM is now up and running, loaded with insights and analysis of upcoming rail projects, innovations and ambitions across the UK sector. We invite you to dive in to hear from the likes of Christian Irwin OBE, Rail Investment Centre of Excellence Director at Network Rail, as he outlines the developments within the SPEED project and Jackie Townsend, the Managing Director at Tram Operations Ltd, as she discusses innovative new technology to enhance safety standards and protocols within the industry. These are just a few of the great stories that we have to offer, so dig in and enjoy the informative fun. 

Videos...

View all videos
TransCityRail Banner

TransCityRail

South \ 29 09 22
North \ 10 11 22
Mids \ 10 02 23

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.
 

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.

Podcast

The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all