Railways: Freight

Department for Transport written question – answered on 19th February 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Earl of Courtown on 3 February (HL547) and in the light of their target of zero net emissions by 2050, whether they plan to cease the practice of counting the loss of fuel duty, including VAT, as a disbenefit to the transfer of heavy freight from road haulage to an electric railway.

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

When assessing the impact of transferring road freight to rail, the differences in both costs and benefits are calculated to provide the full picture of the net impact. The appraisal framework in the Department considers the emissions savings that would result from switching transport types, taking into account the relative emissions efficiency from each form of transport mode. The Department’s appraisal framework is continually kept under review to keep up to date with latest approaches to valuing environmental benefits, as well as improvements in technology.

DfT is embarking, through the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, on the biggest piece of work it has ever done on decarbonising transport. It will be working openly in 2020 to produce a Plan that puts transport on a path to delivering its contributions to carbon budgets and net zero.

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