Campaign against congestion
Matheson backs road-to-rail plan with £25m fund
Michael Matheson: committed
A campaign to switch more freight from road to rail has been backed with a £25 million ring-fenced fund from the Scottish government, part of the £4.85 billion allocated to rail over the next five years.
Each tonne of freight by rail reduces emissions by 76% compared to road and in 2016 rail freight generated £1.6bn in economic benefits across the UK.
During a visit to the Freightliner Terminal in Coatbridge, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “This Government has a strong track record of support for rail freight which we are committed to taking forward over the next five year funding period. We know that rail freight and modal shift to rail reduces road congestion, improves air quality, and reduces emissions.”
Paul McMahon, a Network Rail executive, said: “Over the next five years we’ve committed to working with our industry partners to get new traffic onto Scotland’s rails. We understand that Network Rail is vital to supporting freight growth, but this will only be realised by working in partnership with the wider industry.
“That’s why, in April, we launched the Industry Plan for Freight Growth in Scotland and this will help us to achieve the ambitions set out in that plan.”
Maggie Simpson, director general of the Rail Freight Group, added: “This is good news for freight customers, for the Scottish economy and for the environment.”
The Fund will be administered by Transport Scotland and a new Scottish Rail Freight Forum will be established including members from across the industry. All work will be commissioned in a way that best secures value for money.