Logistics UK has urged government to begin a rolling programme of rail electrification, in a joint letter to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, co-signed by more than 15 business, industry and campaign groups.
The letter follows significant research by Railway Industry Association (RIA) into why decarbonisation of the rail sector is only possible with large-scale railway electrification and how hydrogen and battery alternatives must have a role on the network but cannot act as a replacement.
Zoe McLernon, Multi Modal Policy Manager at Logistics UK comments: “Logistics UK has consistently called for a structured programme of rail electrification to help deliver net-zero emissions by 2050 and to support further private sector investment in the UK’s rail freight sector. The latest research from RIA provides compelling evidence on the importance of electrification for both business and the environment.
“An electrification programme would not only be beneficial to the UK’s green recovery, but would also support jobs, improve efficiency for freight operators and aide economic growth: rail freight currently delivers around £1.7bn of economic benefits each year. It is now crucial that government acts swiftly to introduce a clear programme of electrification to ensure that goods and services can continue to move through the economy with minimal environmental impact.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, 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. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk