To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement in the National Networks National Policy Statement that if freight carried by rail was to increase by 50 per cent (in terms of tonne kilometres) this would only be equivalent to a reduction of around seven percent in goods carried by road, whether in calculating that ratio consideration was given to the issue of rail freight only being a viable alternative to the longest and heaviest loads.
The figure quoted was calculated by comparing the amount of freight moved by rail in Great Britain with the amount moved by heavy goods vehicles by road. As it is measured in tonne kilometres it takes into account both the distance travelled by the freight and its weight.
The National Policy Statement supports the development of a robust infrastructure network of Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges in order to reduce road congestion, and deliver goods quickly and efficiently by rail, reduce carbon emissions, support growth and create employment. It aims to ensure we have modern distribution centres linked into both the rail and trunk road system in appropriate locations to serve our major conurbations.