FTA calls on government to guarantee the future of HS2 for freight

The recent HS2 review uncertainty has prompted Freight Transport Association (FTA) to request confirmation from government on the future of HS2.

FTA is calling on government to secure the high-speed railway’s future and ensure businesses can rely on its commitment to infrastructure investment in the future.

Alex Veitch, FTA’s head of multimodal policy, commented: “FTA and its members are excited about the prospect of HS2 and what it can deliver for the logistics industry. With HS2 trains able to carry over 300,000 people per day, the shift in traffic will release capacity on existing rail lines which can be used for freight.

“Allowing more freight to travel by rail will ease congestion on our busy road infrastructure, with HS2 predicting that its first phase alone could free up rail freight capacity equivalent to around 1,500 lorries every day”.

The freight and logistics support company, whose members deliver over 90% of rail freight, is asking government to guarantee that bids from freight operators will be considered as well as passenger services and that capacity released by HS2 will not be pre-allocated to passenger trains.

He continued: “While there are always strong pressures on government to favour passenger operators, our members need a guarantee that they will receive fair treatment and fair access to capacity released by HS2.”

Retailers and manufacturers depend on rail freight, as well as more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods in Britain.

The effect that Brexit could have on the freight industry regarding borders and supply chain make the future of HS2 a critical question in need of answering for the FTA.

In addition to this, the FTA has today (18 Nov) announced the appointment of Zoe McLernon as its multimodal policy manager, a newly created role to aiming to further establish the growing importance of UK transport policy.

Source: RTM