At the Rail Freight Group Christmas lunch, Baroness Susan Kramer, minister of state for transport said that HS2 was “desperately needed to relieve congestion” and to ensure the continued growth and success of the freight sector.
She said that rail freight contributes around £870m directly to the economy and £5.9bn overall to the UK’s output.
“Freight moved by rail increased by almost two thirds between 1994 and 2010 and is projected to keep growing even further and we need make sure the capacity is there.”
She also pointed out that the West Coast mainline already carriers a quarter of all UK rail freight. By 2030, overall volumes of rail freight are expected to be around 120 per cent of current level, which means that more capacity will be needed.