FTA calls for better rail freight planning

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The Freight Transport Association is calling for more “common sense” to be used when deciding where to site rail freight interchanges and terminals.

The FTA reckons proposals to build interchanges are often met with local protest, despite regular calls from the public for a greater number of goods to be moved off roads and onto rail.

It points to the recent decision by St Albans District Council to reject plans for a new interchange at Radlett in Hertfordshire, as an example.   

Christopher Snelling, FTA head of rail freight policy, said: “We are all very conscious of our impact on the environment and we must all play our part to reduce carbon emissions.  While FTA fully understands that local impacts have to be managed and minimised, it is clearly in our national environmental interest that sufficient terminals are built.

“The rail freight industry has ambitions to almost double rail’s market share to 20 per cent over the next 30 years.  The government is spending millions upgrading rail lines, and retailers and manufacturers are working to adjust their logistics arrangements to incorporate rail.  But none of this will help if the freight cannot get on and off the network at the right place.”

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