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2007-10-29 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Department for Transport delivers £132m more funding to support freight

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Department for Transport

Department for Transport delivers £132m more funding to support freight

29 Oct 2007 13:04
source Department for Transport
type Press release

The Department for Transport has today announced funding grants of more than £132 million towards supporting rail freight. The awards will improve freight infrastructure on four specific projects across the country and reduce dependency on road transport, removing around 300,000 lorry journeys from our roads every year.

£80 million of funding is being awarded to enhance gauge and capacity for rail freight on the Peterborough - Nuneaton route, providing a crucial alternative to the busy rail routes via London.

Almost £43 million is being provided to enhance the gauge on the key Southampton - Nuneaton corridor, which links one of the UK's major ports with Birmingham, the north west and Scotland through the West Coast Main Line.

£8 million of funding is awarded to increase capacity on the link between the Humber Ports and the East Coast Main Line, including to the power stations in the Aire and Trent Valleys.

£1.7 million is being provided to improve access between the West Coast Main Line and Liverpool Docks by reinstating a new section of track and enhancing the gauge on two rail routes.

Transport Minister Tom Harris said:

"This improved infrastructure we are funding will make a significant contribution to reducing road congestion, carbon and environmental emissions, as well as supporting the future growth of our economy. In this way everyone wins."

"This funding is on top of the £65m the DfT announced earlier this year to support freight through upgrading infrastructure and securing greener ways of moving the nation's goods. Together, these awards underline the Department's commitment to improving the rail freight network in this country."

All four schemes have been rated as delivering high value for money by the Department for Transport. Network Rail will start the construction of these projects in early 2008, enabling all schemes to be completed by 2011.

Notes to Editors

1. The £80m for the Peterborough-Nuneaton route will fund enhancement works to clear the line to W10 gauge. This will enable the route to carry 9ft 6" high cube containers, which otherwise require specialist rail wagons or have to be carried by road. The scheme will improve access to Felixstowe port and provide an alternative route to the West Coast Main Line, bypassing London. The scheme also provides funding for a new east to north chord at Nuneaton, allowing trains to continue northwards without conflicting with the West Coast Main Line, subject to legal consent. The scheme will also receive £5m from Network Rail and £1m from East of England Regional Development Agency.

2. The £42.83m grant for the Southampton to the West Coast Main Line route will also enable W10 gauge clearance for high cube containers. The scheme will allow existing freight capacity to be used more efficiently. Works will take place on three sections, between Southampton and Leamington Spa via Basingstoke and Reading; between Leamington and Nuneaton; and between Leamington and Birmingham. This scheme will also receive £5.45m from Associated British Ports and £6.28m from two Regional Development Agencies (SEEDA and AWM).

3. The Humber Ports schemes will provide additional capacity for bulk imports from the East Coast, including the import of coal to power stations in the Aire and Trent Valleys. The project is also being funded by Network Rail (£17.45m), EDF Energy (£10m), Yorkshire Forward RDA (£9.5 m), and Associated British Ports (£3m).

4. The gauge enhancement scheme for two routes from the Port of Liverpool to the West Coast Main Line will include the reinstallation of the 300 metre Mount Olive Chord and works on the branch to Liverpool docks. The Department's contribution is alongside £3.82m from Network Rail, £3.6m from Regional Development Agencies (Northern Way and ERDF), £2m from Merseytravel and £0.75m from Peel Holdings.

5. The DfT announced £18.5m Productivity TIF funding for the Gospel Oak to Barking line in July this year. The DfT also announced almost £45m of grants earlier this year to support the transport of freight by rail which would otherwise be carried on the roads.

6. These awards are in addition to the £200m announced in this summer's 'Delivering a Sustainable Railway' White Paper for the development of a Strategic Freight Network.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website:

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