Consumer freight rail traffic in the UK has reached its highest traffic level since 1998. According to the Offcie of Rail and Road’s Q2 2016-17 statistics for freight moved by rail, consumer intermodal freight traffic rose by 3.9 per cent and construction traffic increased by 8.3 per cent.
However, the drop in coal traffic has had a big impact on UK freight tonnages overall, although other types of freight are replacing it.
Responding to the Q1 2016-17 rail freight figures, Philippa Edmunds, manager of the trade organisation Freight on Rail, said that even more needed to be done: “There is suppressed demand for long distance consumer services, because of network constraints.
“Every rail freight slot which comes available out of Felixstowe port can be filled immediately. Currently there are 33 daily rail services in and out of the port which are removing around 1600 HGVs from the A14 corridor each day. Once this corridor is fully upgraded 40 million freight lorry miles per annum could be removed, so it should be a priority scheme for the Government.”