Rail freight can make a much greater impact on reducing road congestion than previously thought, campaigners have said.
New figures given to the Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) by the Daventry Intermodal Rail Freight Terminal show that it has removed 64 million miles of lorry journeys from UK roads in the last year alone, almost three times more than previously thought (23 million lorry miles).
Philippa Edmunds, Freight-on-Rail manager at CfBT, said: ‘These latest figures confirm what we have long argued, that the best way to reduce road congestion, collisions and pollution is integrated rail and road planning, not adding ever more lanes to motorways.
‘Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges like Daventry are important economic generators and show the way the private sector is investing in and supporting rail freight. What we need now is for the Government to follow the private sector’s lead and support rail freight by upgrading the existing network and setting affordable charges to enable rail to remove even more lorries from our congested roads.'
Rail Freight Interchanges enable rail to compete with HGVs by reducing the transhipment costs.
CfBT said the Daventry Intermodal Rail Freight Terminal employs over 5,000 people and is forecast to employ up to 9,000 when a new terminal opens.
It said other new rail freight interchanges are coming on stream designed to create a larger network of rail freight hubs to provide a catalyst for significant new business between the UK, mainland Europe and beyond.
Four Ashes Strategic Rail Freight Interchange near Wolverhampton is currently going through the planning system and Doncaster iPort has a strategic rail freight interchange opening later this year.