More effort demanded to promote road freight alternatives

April 29 2015  

More effort demanded to promote road freight alternatives
Transfer of road freight to waterways and railways could reduce highway congestion by as much as a quarter on the busiest routes, according to new research.
The Campaign for Better Transport says that heavy goods vehicle traffic could fall by 21% and all vehicle traffic could reduce by 6% if rail and water freight movements increased by half their current level.
The group adds that recent Government research had played down the potential benefits of transferring freight to more sustainable modes of travel. It points to the National Networks Policy Statement which said that if freight carried by rail was to increase by 50% this would only be equivalent to a reduction of around 7% in goods carried by road.
But the Campaign group says that the Government statement only looks at national averages and needs to consider that some parts of the road network have more long distance heavy goods vehicle traffic that could be carried by other means.
Campaign for Better Transport’s Philippa Edmunds said: “While the Government is committed to investing significant funds in the railways and in rail freight in particular, it has underestimated the full extent to which this investment could reduce road congestion.
“The Government should take account in its forecasting and modelling and in its policy and spending the potential to shift HGV traffic to rail and water and the congestion, safety and pollution benefits of doing so.”

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