Policy paper

Rail freight transport strategy

Outlines the government's strategy to promote freight transport by rail to limit road congestion and reduce transport carbon emissions.


Rail freight strategy

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Transporting freight by rail offers significant benefits to the UK economy:

  • by reducing road congestion
  • improving industry productivity
  • cutting carbon emissions and air pollution

The government recognises the importance of a clear policy framework to support rail freight and enable it to grow and achieve its potential. This strategy aims to establish that framework.

The report was announced in written ministerial statement to the Houses of Parliament on 13 September 2016.

Supporting research

ARUP was engaged to conduct independent research to inform the implementation of the government’s ‘Rail freight strategy’.

Carriage of goods on passenger trains final report considers recent trials of transporting goods in unused space on off-peak passenger services and assesses the scope for developing this concept.

Future potential for modal shift in the UK rail freight market provides a technical assessment of the future potential for modal shift to increase the use of rail freight, the potential carbon savings to be achieved and possible enablers and barriers to that modal shift.

Published 13 September 2016