Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rail Freight Group Attacks Transport Report And Greets New Terminal

Transport Paper is “flawed and offers nothing new”
Shipping News Feature

UK – A new report “Public procurement – the lessons of rail privatisation” was published on the 21st January to be met by severe criticism from private rail body the Rail Freight Group. The report, from Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, was intended to draw conclusions from the privatisation of rail transport in the UK but has been accused by the Rail Freight Group (RFG) who say it offers nothing by way of comment on the sector.

RFG Chairman Tony Berkeley said:

“This is a missed opportunity which lacks clarity of purpose. Privatisation does not come into the debate at all, apart from in the title of the report…. it offers nothing about freight, perhaps unsurprising since no member of the panel has any freight experience.”

The RFG views the report as simply a way for the Government to “set some principles” prior to a General Election and the Chairman went on to say there was no mention of positive developments in the freight sector since the division of British Rail, particularly the 60% growth in traffic, and that it had missed out on the opportunity to take a look at infrastructure development. The report neglects to mention the work done by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), prompting the RFG to comment, "one wonders if the panel knows what the ORR does!" and it dismisses freight simply with the comment 'some on-rail competition has emerged in the rail freight sector.'

To read the RFG criticism in full you can link here.

In further RFG news the group welcomed the inauguration of DB Schenker’s new inter modal terminal at Rugby which was officially opened by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport Chris Mole MP. Within twelve months the disused coal depot will now be capable of handling up to 50,000 containers per year as it sits adjacent to the Rugby, Lutterworth, Daventry and Coventry logistics parks. The new site, connected to the electrified West Coast Main Line, will enable DB Schenker to operate longer and higher capacity freight trains, reducing greenhouse gases.