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Latest annual rail freight figures demonstrates rail's key role in infrastructure and housing markets, say campaigners

Campaign for Better Transport responds to the latest annual Office of Rail and Road (ORR) rail freight statistics.

The statistics, issued today, show that sustained expansion in construction traffic (up 1.5 per cent), which increased in each quarter, demonstrates the rail industry's key role in building our infrastructure and housing.

The consumer (intermodal) market has decreased marginally (1.4 per cent) but is effectively holding its own and now makes up 40 per cent of rail freight. As the ORR pointed out, all freight transport was adversely affected by the bad weather in March.  

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager, Campaign for Better Transport, said,

“Each aggregates train can remove up to 136 large HGV from our roads showing rail freight’s crucial role in transporting construction materials in a safer, cleaner way which reduces road congestion and road damage."

She added:

“Almost 50 per cent of London's aggregates are now brought into London by rail with large amounts of industrial waste then being removed by rail. Rail freight is tried and tested with demand for more rail services, as the planning permission in February for a new rail freight terminal at Cricklewood, North London shows. 

“Without this terminal part of the £4.5 billion Brent Cross housing regeneration, might not be viable as all these construction materials would have to be delivered by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) with all the associated congestion, pollution and safety impacts.”

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