McDon­ald pushes freight’s claims

Rail (UK) - - Net­work -

Shadow Trans­port Min­is­ter Andy McDon­ald has crit­i­cised the lack of pro­vi­sion be­ing made by East West Rail for freight, to sup­port the con­struc­tion of up to one mil­lion new homes in the area.

Speak­ing at the Rail Freight Group’s an­nual Christ­mas lunch on De­cem­ber 13, he said: “Ev­ery­one knows the im­por­tance of rail freight and the con­tri­bu­tion it makes to the econ­omy. It’s been a good year for the in­dus­try, with growth in con­sumer and con­struc­tion traf­fic, but it al­ways frus­trates me that freight still doesn’t get the credit it de­serves amongst politi­cians.

“Rail freight plays a vi­tal role in low­er­ing car­bon emis­sions, as it pro­duces 76% less CO than the equiv­a­lent road jour­ney. We re­main com­mit­ted to a grow­ing and sus­tain­able rail freight in­dus­try, and it must be pri­ori­tised as our net­work con­tin­ues to grow and in­vest­ment de­ci­sions are made. We must fo­cus on pas­sen­gers, of course, but freight must be cen­tral to all rail­way plan­ning.”

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