Rail Freight Group welcomes Transport for the North infrastructure ‘plan’

The Rail Freight Group has welcomed the Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan that aims to improve transport in Northern England by developing transport links between the conurbations either side of the Pennines.

Executive director of the Rail Freight Group Maggie Simpson said: “Transport for the North have recognised that businesses in the north of England want to use more rail for transporting their goods, between ports and consumers and into rail linked warehouses, quarries and production facilities. These plans for upgrading the railways and for large scale modal shift to rail are therefore good news for rail freight operators and customers.

“In particular, the plan confirms support for the upgrade of the north Transpennine route, where development work is currently underway. We have been working to ensure that capacity and gauge for freight is fully incorporated as a core part of the work, and this must now be urgently confirmed as this vital project moves forward.”

While there has been some hype around the Transport for the North draft plan, the organisation has no budget allocated by government and no immediate way of securing such funding. This means that while well meaning the Transport for the North infrastructure plan has no teeth and may never be recognised by a government obsessed with cuts and austerity.