The Department for Transport is offering ‘1.4 billion over the next three years to freight companies as incentive to change the modes of transport they use. The scheme will reward freight operators who use more environmentally friendly modes of transport like rail and water.
Patricia Hayes from the DfT told delegates at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum yesterday about the benefits of such a change: ‘A world in which we succeed in achieving modal shift between road, rail and water is overall a better world. That’s not to say that one mode of transport is intrinsically better than another one, but it is to say that there is a case for seeing modal shift as an explicit policy goal.”
Currently, the percentage of goods moved by rail freight is significantly lower than by road. Chris Welsh from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) raised these figures at the conference.
He said: ‘Based on the latest statistics from Department for Transport, road freight has approximately 65% of the share, rail freight nearly 7%, water about 22%.”
It’s hoped the funding will change these figures. The grant is worth ’20 million this year and ’19million in 2012/13.