Rail freight now contributes an estimated £1.6 billion (EUR 2.2 billion) worth of benefits to Britain’s economy every year, a new report shows, elaborated by Rail Delivery Group (RDG). Research carried out in 2013 estimated that freight delivers productivity gains for British businesses and congestion and environmental benefits totalling over £1.5 billion per year. Continued growth in the transport of goods by rail since then means these benefits are now estimated to be worth over £1.6 billion annually.
The growth in volumes has been possible through significant investments made by freight operators as well as ports, terminals and other customers, Network Rail and government. That in turn has allowed the sector to be more competitive, particularly with road transport, and savings to be passed down to the freight customer. The resulting productivity benefits for UK plc are valued at over £1.1 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) per year, helping to underpin economic growth. With continued investment from all parties it is forecast that the annual economic benefits generated by freight could rise to nearly £2 billion (EUR 2.8 billion) by 2023.
“Investment and a commitment to service excellence has helped our sector to grow by 80% in the last 20 years, and increase its share of the market for transporting goods. The growth seen in the last 12 months underlines how vital the sector is to maintaining Britain’s economic competitiveness,” Peter Maybury, Chairman of Freightliner and the RDG freight group, said.
Photo: Network Rail