Proposals ‘appear to provide an opportunity to level the playing field’ in relation to passenger train operations, says DB Cargo.
Leading rail freight operator DB Cargo has responded positively to the Williams-Shapps Review on the future of rail transport in the UK.
“We welcome the direction that the White Paper provides and will continue to work with Government and other key industry stakeholders to realise the true potential of rail freight here in the UK.
“For too long the points have been unfairly set in favour of passenger train operators and on first reading, today’s proposals appear to provide an opportunity to level the playing field and really maximise the environmental and economic benefits rail freight can deliver.”
He concluded: “Our industry has played a pivotal role during the recent pandemic and ensured the seamless movement of goods to and from Europe during the difficult Brexit transition period but we have so much more to give in terms of helping the Government to grow the economy and deliver on its net zero emissions targets.
“We will work hard to ensure that our compelling case for the further growth of rail freight continues to be heard.
Meanwhile, industry body, Logistics UK, said the plans outlined in the Williams-Shapps Review White Paper are essential for the future of rail freight, and the creation of a single body -Great British Railways – will help to better embed freight into decision making, according to industry body, Logistics UK.
“The creation of Great British Railways should lead to more unified decisions for freight, which has been disadvantaged by complex systems of decision making involving various different rail bodies,” commented Elizabeth de Jong, director of Policy at Logistics UK.
“The government’s planned ambition to promote the use of rail freight is a positive step towards putting freight services on an equal footing to passenger services. It is crucial that this ambition is delivered to enable the freight sector to grow and achieve its full potential. The industry needs a strategic vision for freight and Logistics UK hopes that the creation of Great British Railways’ national freight co-ordination team will ensure this becomes a core priority.”
She added: “Logistics UK will now scrutinise the details of these plans and work with Great British Railways and the Department for Transport on the reform process. While some uncertainty remains over how the new body will work in practice, the rail freight sector will work together to ensure it meets the needs of logistics businesses.”