Railways: Freight

Department for Transport written question – answered on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the rail freight capacity for the economy.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

Rail freight offers benefits for the environment, helps reduce road congestion and is extremely important to UK businesses. Industry estimates that rail freight delivers economic benefits, including, cost savings to industry, environmental benefits and road congestion relief of around £1.7 billion per year.

The Government published a Rail Freight Strategy to provide a stable policy framework to enable rail freight to grow and achieve its potential. The Government is committed to working with the rail freight industry to support its continued success. The Strategy can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/552492/rail-freight-strategy.pdf

To support future growth of the rail freight industry the Secretary of State also confirmed that Government intends to continue investment in improving the rail freight network in Control Period 6 (2019-2024) as part of the regulatory funding settlement.

The Department is working with Network Rail and the freight industry to identify options for future funding, including capacity improvements.

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