Rail Freight fund announced
£25m available to strengthen rail freight in Scotland
Scottish rail freight is set to benefit from up to £25 million of ring-fenced funds to help strengthen the industry over the next five years.
The Scottish Government commitment was yesterday (9 May) announced by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson during a visit to the Freightliner Terminal in Coatbridge.
The fund is open to rail freight industry partners, including Network Rail and Transport Scotland, to table proposals for improvements which meet freight modal shift objectives. Innovative proposals which meet strategic objectives without costly infrastructure upgrades, for example wagons/locomotives or other interventions, are also welcome.
Mr Matheson yesterday 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.
“Rail freight services are vital to sustainable economic growth across Scotland. This fund will support the development and delivery of strategic rail freight projects which improve capacity and capability. It aims to build on and complement our existing and future investment in Scotland’s railways.
“Working with Network Rail, we are also encouraging a sharper business-focus and setting challenging but achievable regulatory targets for freight in terms of average speed, performance and growth.”
Paul McMahon, Managing director of Freight and National Passenger Operators at Network Rail, said:
“Over the next five years we’ve committed to working with our industry partners to get new traffic onto Scotland’s rails and today’s announcement is welcome. 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 commitment from Scottish Government is welcome news for the rail freight industry and will allow vital upgrades to Scotland’s railways, unlocking capacity and capability for new services. 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.
Latest News from
Strengthening Irish links14/11/2019 15:05:00
First Minister meets Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
Assessing the effectiveness of inspection activity: HMFSI report14/11/2019 13:05:00
While responsibility for delivery standards and for improving public services lies with the organisations that provide the services, public bodies are generally subject to external scrutiny as a check, challenge, and reassurance on how they are performing.
Pesticide usage in Scotland14/11/2019 10:05:00
Pesticide use on arable crops grown in Scotland in 2018 has declined according to a new report.
Ministerial statement: Humza Yousaf statement on Sheku Bayoh - Next steps13/11/2019 15:25:00
Cabinet Secretary For Justice – Parliamentary Statement on Sheku Bayoh – Next Steps – Tuesday 12 November 2019.
National action plan to prevent and eradicate FGM: year three report13/11/2019 14:10:00
Update on the progress that has been made since the publication of the national action plan to prevent and eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in February 2016.
New drive to curb online puppy sales13/11/2019 13:05:00
People in Scotland are increasingly buying puppies online despite the risk of purchasing from illegal breeders, according to new research.
Living with flooding: action plan13/11/2019 12:05:00
Living with flooding recommends actions for a range of stakeholders to take to help promote property flood resilience in Scotland.
Death of Sheku Bayoh13/11/2019 10:05:00
A statutory public inquiry will be held to examine the circumstances leading up to and following the death of Sheku Bayoh, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf announced yesterday.
Greater protection for care leavers welcomed12/11/2019 15:05:00
Recommendations to improve support for care leavers at risk of homelessness have been welcomed by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart.