Rail Freight Group sets out sec­tor’s needs in rail re­form

Rail (UK) - - News -

The Rail Freight Group says changes to the struc­ture of the rail­way re­sult­ing from the Wil­liams Re­view must place the freight sec­tor at the heart of the in­dus­try.

In a po­si­tion pa­per re­leased on Novem­ber 22, the group ar­gues that any new struc­ture must have an in­cen­tive frame­work em­bed­ded through­out which en­cour­ages and re­wards freight growth, have a strong cen­tral func­tion with au­thor­ity over timetabling and ac­cess, and have a na­tional sys­tem of freight charges based on cur­rent prin­ci­ples.

It also says the rail­way must have the right le­gal, com­mer­cial and reg­u­la­tory ‘levers’ to de­liver freight needs, and of­fer flex­i­bil­ity to meet the chang­ing needs of freight cus­tomers.

RFG ar­gues that the struc­ture must also en­cour­age and de­liver freight growth, main­tain a na­tional freight net­work, pro­vide fair and equal ac­cess for all freight ser­vices, en­sure that new and ex­ist­ing ser­vices can be de­liv­ered ef­fi­ciently, and en­able con­tin­ued pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment.

RFG Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Mag­gie Simp­son said: “The Wil­liams Re­view is fun­da­men­tal to the fu­ture of UK rail. Our po­si­tion pa­per sets out a frame­work for as­sess­ing po­ten­tial op­tions for struc­tural re­form, to con­sider how the needs of freight cus­tomers will be ad­dressed.”

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