Greening issues rail interchange guidance

Transport secretary Justine Greening has issued stopgap planning policy guidance on strategic rail freight interchanges.

It is intended to fill the hiatus while the Department for Transport prepares a consultation document on its National Networks National Policy Statement, the date for which has not been set.

The Strategic Rail Freight Interchange Policy Guidance "may be taken into account by the Infrastructure Planning Commission in its decision making on the development consent applications for strategic rail freight interchanges infrastructure that fall within the definition of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project as defined in the Planning Act 2008", it stated.

"It should give some comfort to developers about how their schemes will be received," the guidance added.

The guidance is intended to give the IPC a strong steer as to the government support for the creation of more interchanges.

Greening said: "Rail can deliver goods quickly, efficiently and reliably and help reduce both congestion on our roads and levels of carbon emissions.

"To secure this longer-term growth and modal shift, rail needs to be able to compete effectively with the use of road by heavy goods vehicles."

She said the development of interchanges would be essential to this, and has asked Network Rail to work with developers, possibly by offering funding.

The guidance said 116 million tonnes of goods were transported by rail in 2006 and by 2019 this was expected to increase to 139 million tonnes, and by 2030 to 179 million tonnes.

"These forecasts indicate that new rail freight interchanges, especially in areas poorly served by such facilities at present, are likely to attract substantial business, generally new to rail," it said.

The guidance is available here.


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