The FTA is urging the Government to devise an alternative plan for moving freight off the roads now that there will be no backing for Central Railway’s Liverpool to Lille, France, project.
Dr Andrew Triall, head of rail freight at the FTA, says it understands the Government’s reluctance to support the proposed, privately-funded, dedicated freight line linking the Channel Tunnel to the North-west. He says: “The Government says it is still committed to increasing the amount of freight that goes by rail, referring to the £12Bn investment in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the upgrading of the West Coast Main Line.”
Dr Triall continues: “But these can only deliver limited extra as freight will still have to vie with passenger traffic.”
The FTA has identified key stretches of the existing rail network for investment to alleviate the more immediate bottle necks and stress points for freight. Dr Triall says: “Although these would provide some relief, it is clear that we also need strategic infrastructure projects that will provide for industry’s needs in the decades ahead. If this Central Railway proposal does not meet with the Government’s approval, then what will?”