Secure the future of rail freight, says FTA
Monday 06 January 2020
In response to Lord Berkeley’s alternative HS2 review, released yesterday (5 January 2019), Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal at FTA, comments:
“As the voice of the UK logistics sector, FTA is calling for the government to secure the future of rail freight in the UK; the new HS2 development is a once-in-a-generation chance to make Britain’s transport network more sustainable. While reports of spiralling development costs are concerning, any cost-benefit analysis should include the value of released capacity made available for freight services on conventional lines once HS2 is operational. Currently, the UK’s rail network is bursting at the seams, with freight competing for space with commuter and leisure services, and losing out in many cases. As a more environmentally friendly mode of freight transport, the government should be encouraging the use of rail freight, but at present its growth is stifled by a lack of capacity. FTA’s support for the project is, however, dependent on the government providing a cast-iron guarantee that freight services will have sufficient access to the released capacity that HS2 will provide.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.