Rail freight services are so integral to importing and exporting goods in the UK that the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has highlighted seven key targets to help the industry grow in the future.
FTA’s ‘next steps’ document is part of its Agenda for More Freight by Rail and follows the government’s Rail Freight Strategy, released last week. This document revealed the vision for improvements, despite setbacks including a decline in core markets and a reduction in Channel Tunnel freight as a result of migrant activity.
Chris MacRae, FTA’s head of rail freight policy, said: “The ‘next steps’ document looks at seven key targets identified by shippers and sets out for discussion what the barriers are to achieving these and what actions are needed to overcome them.”
One of the targets includes a 15 per cent reduction in costs, which comes in response to the 2011 McNulty Report that shows railways are 20 to 30 per cent less cost-efficient than train transport on the continent, Transport-Network reported.
FTA claimed expenses can be kept low by increasing travel speeds from 25mph to 35mph and having a stable charging regime.
Prior to the release of the ‘next steps’ document, the FTA claimed the Rail Freight Strategy would be successful in giving the logistics sector incentives to work with the rail industry so more goods were transported on railways and pressure was taken off the roads.
Each freight train used is the equivalent of 73 lorries, which is why every tonne transported by train lowers carbon emissions by 76 per cent.