A report has recently been published in the UK, titled ‘Keeping the lights on and the traffic moving: The benefits of rail freight for the UK economy’ for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG)in the UK.
The report points out that advances in take up mean that the UK is now closer to the average when comparing freight carried by rail to other modes of cargo transport. The RDG is the organisation responsible for rationalising relations between rail stakeholders in the UK.
The report credits privatisation with the recovery of the rail freight sector, pointing out that although rail freight has not yet returned to its post-war peak (1953), it has achieved growth of over 70% since the mid 1990’s.
An industry insider welcomed the report, but with 90% of tonne/miles of freight being carried by road haulage he feels more could be done, saying: ‘We need to make sure that rail freight grows faster than overall economic growth, or we will see rising congestion on the road network which will add billions of pounds to the cost of doing business in UK and waste the benefit of the growth.’