UK: Industry group Logistics UK has called for the rapid development of rail freight in Northern Ireland, building on the ‘much-needed vision’ in the draft All-Island Strategic Rail Review for expanding rail freight across the whole island of Ireland.
‘Currently, there is no freight moved by rail in Northern Ireland, with restrictions to rail lines facilitating passenger travel only’, said Nichola Mallon, Logistics UK’s Head of Trade & Devolved Policy, on July 27. ‘Delivery of enhanced rail connectivity to move goods would be a game changer for the logistics industry which underpins the economy. With one freight train able to remove up to 76 HGVs from the road, it would significantly reduce road congestion and emissions and facilitate more efficient transport of goods to ports giving a boost to trade.
‘While some of the 30 recommendations in the report could take up to 25 years to deliver, there are new rail freight services that could be up and running within the next two years.
‘While viability must be carefully considered, the economic and environmental benefits are clear. What is now needed is governments’ commitment and investment to make it happen. Northern Ireland needs an executive and assembly to be reinstated and for it to work in partnership with the Irish government to take these transformative projects forward.’