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Railways: Freight

Department for Transport written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has for a Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight rail link; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Rail freight offers benefits for the environment, helps reduce road congestion and is important to UK businesses. The Williams Rail Review, currently underway, is considering how the rail industry can better respond to needs of the rail freight sector as it grows.

The Felixstowe to Nuneaton rail corridor (F2N) is a strategically important freight route. In Control Period 5 (2014-2019), £65m was invested in upgrading the Felixstowe Branch Line, including a significant private-sector contribution from the port. The extra capacity delivered on the branch line will support up to 10 additional trains per day in each direction to move goods to and from the Port of Felixstowe (although further enhancements will be required to realise this in full). This investment means that from December, up to 38 trains per day will be able to run in each direction.

In Control Period 6 (2019-2024), further funding is being made available to develop business cases for further freight enhancements on this vital corridor. Examples of F2N-related business cases under development include Haughley Junction redoubling, the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement, and Syston – Trent Junction enhancements (in Leicestershire).

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