Decline in freight threatens future of rail network

09 November 2016

ASLEF today submitted its response to Network Rail’s Freight Network Study. The study was developed with a range of rail industry stakeholders but not trade unions. It considers the future development of rail freight in Great Britain and outlines what the industry considers to be the future priorities for enhancing the network.

The union welcomed the study’s proposals to enhance rail freight capacity but regrets that it has little to say about the current crisis and job losses in the sector. In addition ASLEF warned the government and Network Rail that if the rail freight industry is allowed to decline rapidly the future maintenance and expansion of the British rail network will be under threat.

Commenting on the union’s response ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘it’s good that the rail industry is considering the future of rail freight in the UK. I just hope there is a future for the industry given the severity of the current crisis. Long term thinking is good but we need a long term plan. It is wishful to think that new markets will miraculously appear in the future to save rail freight. It will be too late.’

The submission can be found in the Research section of the website

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