High Speed 2 must not distract from freight’s needs, warns FTA

Monday 09 January 2012

With a government announcement on High Speed 2 (HS2) expected this week, the Freight Transport Association is anxious that potential passenger benefits are not gained at the expense of freight.

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Supply Chain Policy, said:

"For investment in infrastructure to provide best value it must give sufficient weight to the needs of those that move goods, not just passengers.

"Rail freight demands a fair share of any capacity created by HS2 on the existing network. We must try to support what is not just a growing market, but one without which the UK’s emissions reduction targets would begin to look a lot less achievable."

A Command Paper setting out the new rules for rail franchises and a formal consultation on the restructuring of Network Rail is expected in February, bringing with it even greater implications for rail freight users.

Snelling concluded:

"The much vaunted move to vertical integration of rail services should not be allowed to subjugate rail freight’s needs. Equally, the move towards regionalisation potentially poses a significant threat to freight services which tend to be organised on a national rather than a regional basis."

Notes for editors

Christopher Snelling, Head of Supply Chain Policy, can be contacted on 01892 552245/07931 778732, email csnelling@fta.co.uk 


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