Rail plan must include freight

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The government’s rail investment strategy, set out in the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) needs to include freight support, the Freight Transport Association says.

It argues that the RNEP might, on paper, be a more sustainable and profitable method of planning and developing the rail network, but without information about its targets for the freight sector, businesses will not be fully aware of the potential benefit of using rail as part of their business plans.

Chris MacRae, head of rail freight, said: “With funding for rail falling in real terms from UK government, it is imperative that operators are encouraged to pitch for and win contracts from businesses across England and Wales. However, without any targets for freight transport within the plan, there is a danger that rail operators will prioritise passenger traffic over the needs of freight, which could have a knock-on impact for future potential growth.”

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