Ports: Railways

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to connect all UK ports dealing with shipping containers to the railway network.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Rail freight and ports are intrinsically linked, with most of the UK’s major ports using rail for onwards distribution. Rail moves 1 in 4 of all intermodal shipping containers which are imported or exported and 18 ports in England have a direct and active rail connection to the national network, with a further 6 ports having operational rail connections (but no current timetabled freight trains).

Intermodal freight is now the biggest rail freight sector and the Department and Network Rail welcome discussions with port operators that wish to enhance their rail freight provision, particularly for container traffic.

The Department has recently announced a £30M fund for port infrastructure connectivity in England – this includes potential funding for development of rail connectivity (specific schemes yet to be determined).

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