Monday, February 15, 2010

RFG Support Government Report To Upgrade Rail Freight Infrastructure

Group Press for Continuing Investment
Shipping News Feature

The Rail Freight Group (RFG), who lobby for the case for increased investment in the development of rail carriage over truck borne and short sea freight, has today welcomed the publication of a new report by the House of Commons Transport Committee that sets out key priorities for the UK rail network.

Priorities for Investment in the UK Railway has identified the Manchester Hub (the radial routes around the city) and electrifying the Midland Main Line as top priorities, both of which will deliver benefits for freight services. In particular, the RFG is delighted that the committee has recognised the strong case for ongoing investment in the Strategic Freight Network.

The committee has also recommended that investment for freight should at the very least be maintained at current levels in the mid-term future. RFG chairman Tony Berkeley said:

“We have welcomed the current projects underway now but there is more needed - the capacity upgrade between Felixstowe and Nuneaton, the Joint Line upgrade and more. We urge government to include the Committee’s recommendations in its future plans.”

Launching the report, chairman Louise Ellman MP said: “It’s paramount we do not deprive future generations of a lasting legacy of good transport services. Investments made now or in the near future should reflect long term needs of the economy and society.”

The committee said that electrification of the wider network and effort to address capacity problems across the North “should form the government’s investment priorities for the railways over the coming decade” and added that there were “tough decisions” needed in regard to prioritizing the network and giving a clear priority to capacity constraints.