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2016-11-15 FTA-001
Freight Transport Association

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FTA says Government must ensure HS2 delivers on freight


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Freight Transport Association

FTA says Government must ensure HS2 delivers on freight
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2016-11-15 High Speed Two update (Department for Transport)

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date
15 November 2016
source Freight Transport Association
type Press release

note CB/283/16


The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says freight will only benefit from rail capacity released by HS2 if the Government ensures it doesn’t have to compete with passenger operators through the existing train path bidding process.

The Government’s preferred route for Phase 2 of HS2 from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds was unveiled today. The announcement says new HS2 trains will carry over 300,000 people a day and will triple seats available out of Euston at peak hours, freeing up space on the existing network for additional commuter and freight services.

But Chris MacRae, FTA’s Head of Rail Policy, said: “There is no mechanism in place to guarantee this additional capacity released by HS2 is available for freight. In fact, the Government says the released paths will be subject to the usual bidding process.

“Passenger operators will no doubt spot a gap in the market to offer cheaper services than HS2 on the existing lines so freight operators will be competing with them for the freed-up space. If the Government is committed to shifting freight from road to rail, more must be done to ensure this happens.”

Mr MacRae said Anglo-Scottish freight services on the west coast mainline north of the HS2 junction would see capacity squeezed with the addition of HS2 passenger services, potentially driving time-sensitive cargoes onto roads instead.

“There will be more trains on an already busy network which will inevitably slow things down. Initial predicted timetabling shared with FTA shows that end-to-end journey times will go backwards and operators such as supermarkets may opt to put cargoes in lorries on the M6 instead,” he said.

FTA’s Agenda for More report explores what needs to put in place by Government, the freight industry and rail freight operators to shift freight from road to rail. [The full report can be seen at http://www.fta.co.uk/export/sites/fta/_galleries/downloads/rail_freight/14094_agenda_for_more_guide.pdf]

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact the FTA press office via email: press.office@fta.co.uk or call 01892 552255.

Follow us on Twitter @newsfromfta and find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.

The Freight Transport Association can trace its origins back to 1889 and is recognised as the voice of the freight and logistics industry, representing the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles - half the UK fleet - consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and 70 per cent of sea and air freight.


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