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Benefits of rail freight

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The Campaign for Better Transport has published a study arguing that an earlier government study made use of national averages that failed to take account of the fact HGV traffic tends to be concentrated on certain routes, such as those leading into ports.
The new report claims that a 50 per cent increase of rail and water freight would cut HGV traffic on these key routes by 21 per cent, leading to a 15 to 25 per cent fall in congestion.
“While the government is committed to investing significant funds in the railways and in rail freight in particular, it has underestimated the full extent to which this investment could reduce road congestion,” said Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager for Campaign for Better Transport, in a statement.

The report notes that rail freight produces 76 per cent less carbon emissions per tonne, per kilometre than road freight, and argues that similar improvements in air quality are also linked to shifting more freight away from the roads.