Following uncertainty surrounding the review of HS2, FTA has today (15 November 2019) called on government to secure the future of the high-speed railway and reassure businesses of its commitment to infrastructure investment moving forwards. 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”.
To lock in these benefits, FTA, the voice of the logistics industry, is seeking a guarantee from government that capacity released by HS2 will not be pre-allocated to passenger services, but instead made available for bids from freight operators.
Veitch concluded: “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.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.