Scottish Common Sense

21 August 2007

25,000 freight carrying road journeys have been quashed by the award of a major grant to Direct Rail Services (DRS) in Scotland.

The £750,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Rail Environmental Benefit Procurement Scheme (REPS) will keep freight containers between Grangemouth and Aberdeen on the railways.

Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “We want to reduce congestion across Scotland and minimize the potential impact on the economy. Many of us have been caught up in delays along the A90. This award to DRS will continue to free up the route to and from the North East while reducing emissions.”

The REPS funding replaces the Company Neutral Revenue Support freight grant scheme, previously provided by the Department of Transport. This is its first award. The grant provides operating subsidy for rail freight, where rail is more expensive than road.

The majority of the freight on this route will be carried by WH Malcolm for supermarket chain WalMart/ASDA. DRS will receive £269,500 from April 2007 to March 2008 and £475,700 from April 2008 to March 2010, subject to the outcome of the Strategic Spending Review.

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