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Railways: Freight

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 22414, tabled on 21 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Future of Freight Plan, what assessment he has made of his Department's progress on increasing the modal share of rail freight; and what steps he is taking to increase capacity for moving rail freight sustainably.

Answered on

28 June 2022

The Government is fully committed to growing rail freight and unlocking the economic and environmental benefits that the sector can deliver. Our Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) set out our ambition to remove all diesel-only trains (passenger and freight) from the network by 2040. The Future of Freight Plan reflects the growing importance of the freight sector as a whole; until now, there has never been a cross Government and cross modal plan for the sector. In both the TDP and the William Shapps Plan for Rail we committed to introducing a rail freight growth target and to incentivising the early take up of low carbon traction to help operators have the confidence they need to invest in green technologies.

We continue to encourage and incentivise modal shift from road to rail through the £20m Mode Shift Revenue Support Scheme (MSRS), which delivers high value for money and in 2020/21 removed around 900,000 HGV lorries off our congested road network, saving 58,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Earlier this year the Department successfully secured MSRS funding of £20m a year for the next three years.