A new study by KPMG showing the multimillion-pound savings of using railfreight is welcome news, but is only the start of the journey, says one transport expert.
The figures, released in a study by KPMG and backed by the Rail Delivery Group, show that using railfreight to transport goods is saving businesses £2.7m per day, with an additional £500m per year of economic, environmental and social benefits.
However, some 90 per cent of tonne miles transported in Britain still happens on the road, warns Nick Radcliffe, managing director of FreightArranger.
Radcliffe said: “The results of the study are very encouraging, and it is important that this is viewed as a platform to encourage growth in the rail sector, rather than a reached goal where we can all pat ourselves on the back. We need to increase awareness of the benefits of rail, and this report can be key to that.”
FreightArranger offers a revolutionary new system which is making logistics more efficient by making the most of both road and rail by organising transport via a web-based system.
Radcliffe added: “Now is a crucial time for Britain’s economy and a fantastic opportunity for the rail industry – one we can’t afford to let pass us by. As the country has now put the recession firmly behind it, economic growth and transport movement are joined at the hip. We need to make sure that rail freight grows faster than overall economic growth, or we will see rising congestion on the road network which will add billions of pounds to the cost of doing business in UK and waste the benefit of the growth.”
Radcliffe added that there is still important work to be done to facilitate the growth of railfreight: “Enabling measures include the removal of key pinch points on the rail network, electrification and continuation of gauge enhancement. It is also vital that more rail freight terminals and rail-connected warehouses are opened to provide a fuller service across the UK. More terminals will enable greater amounts of domestic intermodal rail freight as well as deep sea flows. Some parts of the country are not well served.”